Man who shot Harrisburg principal accepts plea deal in rape case
The man responsible for shooting his principal in Harrisburg in 2015, recently accepted a plea agreement that dismissed counts of rape in exchange for a conviction of simple domestic assault.
Mason Buhl, now 23, pleaded nolo contendere to the count of simple domestic assault before the case headed to a jury trial. A nolo contendere is a plea when a defendant accepts conviction while still maintaining innocence. In 2021, Huges County court records indicate Buhl was initially indicted for three second-degree rape charges.
That case has since reopened another case in Buhl's past.
In 2015, then-16-year-old Buhl shot former Harrisburg High School Principal Kevin Lein in the arm with a handgun. Buhl was reportedly carrying more than 50 bullets on the day of the shooting, and when his gun malfunctioned, he was tackled and restrained by two other administrators.
More: Man who shot Harrisburg principal charged with rape. Now his 2015 school shooting case has been reopened
In 2017, Buhl pleaded guilty to attempted murder and faced no prison time. Buhl received a 15-year probation period through 2032. Since mental illness played a role in the shooting, Buhl was committed to a mental health treatment program in 2017.
At Buhl's sentencing in 2017, the Argus Leader reported that Judge Brad Zell told Buhl "If you exhibit any, any, violent behavior once so ever, I will be quick from any judgement to remove you from society."
Now, Buhl is expected to make an appearance in a Lincoln County courtroom.
On Thursday, officials with the Lincoln County Court of Clerks Office confirmed to the Argus Leader that a modification revocation hearing for Buhl on Feb. 7 had been canceled. No reason was indicated why. The officials also said, as of Thursday morning, another date hadn't been set.
This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Man who shot Harrisburg principal receives plea deal in rape case