Richard Heckler appeared in Seventh Judicial District Court on Monday, Jan. 6, to change his not-guilty plea to guilty of simple assault, a misdemeanor, pursuant to a plea agreement with the state.

The original charge, assault on a minor, resulted from an alleged encounter at the Richland County Fair and Rodeo in August. According to the affidavit, Heckler was witnessed attacking children behind the 4-H food booth. Heckler, who was reportedly “heavily intoxicated,” picked up a 9-year-old boy by his head and threw him to the ground.

The plea agreement included $722.04 to be paid in restitution, a fine of $500, chemical dependency counseling and completion of recommendations made, and six months deferred imposition of sentence.

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