Vet pleads in Christmas '08 movie shooting

November 24, 2010 9:12:13 AM PST
An Iraq war veteran who shot a noisy moviegoer on Christmas 2008 in Philadelphia has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.

Thirty-one-year-old James Cialella will be sentenced in March after admitting Tuesday that he shot Woffard Lomax Jr. in the arm during a showing of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" at a South Philadelphia movie theater.

Lomax had testified during a preliminary hearing that he was scuffling with another man over the noise complaint when Cialella threw popcorn at him before he pulled a gun and fired. Cialella's attorney disputed that claim, saying his client believed he was firing in self-defense after going to break up the fight.

Defense attorney Gregory Pagano says Cialella's handgun was properly registered in North Carolina, where he had been stationed in the Army.