Plea agreements reached in shooting of Stebbins mayor

Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2002

NOME (AP) -- Prosecutors have reached plea agreements with two men and a juvenile charged in the November shooting of the mayor of Stebbins.

Robert Tea, 21, a former village public safety officer, pleaded no contest last week in Nome Superior Court to one count of first-degree assault.

Travis Snowball, 15, admitted in juvenile court to one count of first-degree attempted murder.

Richard Martin, 17, pleaded no contest last month to one count of first-degree assault.

According to court records, Snowball admitted to authorities that he had planned to kill Robert Ferris and Jean Ferris, who operate the village general store.

Tea was accused of giving Snowball a rifle and with assisting Martin in putting a makeshift silencer on the rifle.

Court records say Snowball and Martin went to Ferris' house Nov. 24 and knocked on the window. When Ferris opened the window, Snowball shot him in the face.

Ferris was struck in the right cheek, just below his eye, by a .22-caliber bullet. The bullet lodged at the base of his skull near his spine.

Ferris survived, but the bullet remains. Doctors say it's too risky to remove it.

Snowball has been sentenced to a high-security juvenile facility, pending reviews every two years.

Tea and Martin will be sentenced later this year.

Stebbins is on Norton Sound about 120 miles southeast of Nome.

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