Glasgow, MT – Last year, 39-year-old Ray Dolin, who was working on a memoir called “Kindness in America,” claimed to be the victim of a random drive-by shooting while hitchhiking along a rural Montana highway.
According to the traveler, he was walking along US Highway 2 west of Glasgow when a male driver in a maroon pick-up with a white toolbox pulled alongside and shot him in the arm without provocation, reports the Huffington Post.
Authorities arrested a suspect in the case, 52-year-old Lloyd Christopher Danielson III, and charged him with felony assault. At the time of his detainment the suspect was found to be under the influence of alcohol.
However, Danielson was released from custody after a searched his vehicle failed to produce evidence. Charges against the man were later dropped following the revelation that Dolin had fabricated the whole ordeal.
Dolin, of Julian, West Virginia, later confessed to self-inflicting the gunshot wound, as Valley County authorities believed the writer/photographer shot himself in a desperate act of self-promotion.
Chief Glen Meyer of the Valley County Sheriff’s Department said, “Things were just not adding up.” But at the time the details provided matched Danielson as he had a history of violence in the area.
Dolin continued to cling to his tale from the hospital where he was undergoing treatment. But ultimately Dolin acknowledged he concocted the story about the random shooting after he was confronted by investigators. The weapon used was recovered.
ABC News reports, a Montana judge, John McKeon, has issued a six-month suspended sentence and ordered Dolin to pay more than $7,500 in fines and restitution for making false claims. In addition, Dolin must continue receiving mental health treatment as part of his sentencing.
The struggling photographer pled guilty to a felony count of tampering with evidence and two misdemeanor charges.
[Image via Shutterstock]