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Ex-Yavapai County public defender gets probation

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- A former public defender in northern Arizona accused of threatening a man with a gun has been sentenced to four years' probation.

Yavapai County prosecutors say John R. Thornton Jr. originally faced an eight-count indictment including aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and criminal trespass. He could have been sentenced to nearly 4 years in prison.

The Daily Courier says Thornton accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to one count of attempted aggravated assault.

The 52-year-old Thornton was arrested after a November 2011 incident at a Prescott bar in which he was asked to leave and shoved a bouncer.

He allegedly waited for bouncer to get off work and pointed a gun at him.

Thornton was put on administrative leave from the Yavapai County Public Defender's Office and subsequently resigned.

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Information from: The Daily Courier, http://www.dcourier.com

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