Independence Center shooting verdict: Eric Bratton guilty on all counts

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A jury found Eric Bratton guilty of four charges stemming from last year's shooting at Independence Center.

The 25-year-old faces up to 21 years in prison for two counts each of second-degree assault and armed criminal action. The jury downgraded one charge of first-degree assault to second-degree assault, which means he could get about 23 fewer years in jail.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 14.

The jury reached the decision around 4 p.m. Wednesday, only hours after closing arguments. Jackson County District Attorney Jean Peters-Baker applauded the verdict.

"The law does not protect you when you create the chaos," she said.

Bratton's attorney, Tom Porto, would only say they respect the verdict.

Bratton took the stand Tuesday to explain why he shot Dilon Yates and Rochelle Moore on January 14, 2012. He said Yates threatened to shoot him first.

"I was aiming for Dilon Yates because I was afraid for my life," Bratton said. "I thought he was going to shoot me."

Yates and Moore maintain that a confrontation started after Bratton made a crude comment about Moore. They testified that Bratton threatened to kill Yates.

"I've got two for you. One for your leg and one for your head," Bratton is alleged to have said, according to victim testimony.

Yates was shot twice in the leg, and Moore once in the foot.

Dan Baylard, the civil attorney for both shooting victims, said he has filed a lawsuit against Independence Center on their behalf.

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