ROCKVILLE — A Virginia man was sentenced Thursday for firing a gun toward a man at a Germantown gas station shortly after they got into a fistfight over an available gas pump.
Dmytro Solomatin, 27, of Reston, Va., was sentenced to 10 years for first-degree assault, but Solomatin’s time behind bars could amount to five. Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Ronald B. Rubin suspended half the sentence.
"I do find the defendent has accepted responsibility for his actions," Rubin said.
The judge also rendered concurrent sentences for Solomatin’s weapons offenses: a mandatory five-year sentence for a charge of using a handgun in commission of a felony and a one-year sentence — which Rubin suspended in its entirety — for illegally carrying and transporting a concealed weapon.
“I think the judge’s ruling was a well-educated and the right decision,” Solomatin said after Thursday’s proceedings. “I think he saw the case for what it actually was.”
His attorney Scott Rolle said he planned to submit an appeal to a three-judge panel with hopes of getting the sentence reduced or instead having Solomatin placed on home detention, which he’s been on for the past 10 months.
Sentencing proceedings began Wednesday and carried over to Thursday morning.
Solomatin Jan. 19 of first-degree assault and weapons offenses for firing a 9mm gun toward Michael Rickley after they got into a fistfight at Freestate gas station Aug. 6, 2011.
A jury acquitted Solomatin of first-degree attempted murder.
Solomatin said he thought Rickley was trying to butt in front of him as he waited for an available gas pump. Rickley said that he made an honest mistake. The men argued, fought each other, then separated. That’s when Solomatin walked to his car, retrieved his gun and fired the shot, according to court testimony during the three-day trial.
No one was shot. The bullet struck the tire of Rickley’s Volkswagen Rabbit. Solomatin claimed he fired the shot in order to scare Rickley away — a claim the prosecution disputed.
“Montgomery County, Maryland is not the wild, wild West,” Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Nee said Thursday, after prosecutors replayed the surveillance footage.
Rubin ordered that Solomatin be on supervised probation for four years, must complete 100 hours of community service and must seek anger management counseling.