published Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Guilty pleas in outrageous Chattanooga fireworks case

It was equal parts outrageous and stupid when three Hamilton County men launched fireworks at residents of East Lake Courts public housing in Chattanooga last July. It happened during the early morning hours as the men rode a pickup through the area.

People on the porch of one apartment scattered to avoid being hit, and one of the fireworks broke a window in an apartment occupied by a woman and several children.

The ugly episode was both frightening and dangerous.

The men -- Kyle Montgomery, 21; Colton Partin, 21; and James Smiley, 27 -- have now pleaded guilty to federal charges. They face punishment ranging from probation to up to 10 years in prison.

Sentencing is set for April 12.

This case should serve as a warning to others who would engage in similarly appalling behavior.

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