CLAY COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A Clay City man who chased down a delivery driver and shot their vehicle with a shotgun while doing so has been sentenced to just shy of a year of probation in Clay County Court.

Joe Wayne Tiefel, was initially charged with criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon in January following the events of December 12, 2022 when a driver working as an independent contractor for FedEx was approached and then reportedly chased by an armed Tiefel. Clay County Sheriff Paul Harden said at the time the driver tried to drive away, but was pursued by Tiefel who fired multiple gunshots at the delivery van, hitting the van at least three times.

According to court records, Tiefel appeared in Clay County Circuit Court on May 16, where he changed his plea to guilty as part of a plea deal.

Judge Joseph D. Trout then sentenced Tiefel to 365 days in jail, but suspended that time and placed Tiefel on probation for the remaining 363 days after being credited 2 days for time served.

The sentencing order mentions that the level 6 felony charge is to be treated as a class A misdemeanor. When asked why that is the case, Prosecutor Emily Clarke responded that it is common practice for level 6 felonies to be treated as class A misdemeanors when the individual charged has no criminal history or previous felony convictions. “Mr. Tiefel is over 70 years old with no criminal record,” Clarke said.

As part of the sentence, Tiefel was ordered to pay a fine of $10.

As part of Tiefel’s probation he is prohibited from possessing any firearms or ammunition.