A Sandy Lake man charged with firing a rifle shot into a ceiling during an argument with a girlfriend in Hermitage pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of simple assault.

As part of a plea deal reached in November, prosecutors agreed not to pursue two counts each of simple assault and terroristic threats filed against James Morrow, 48, of 4426 Mercer St.

Morrow also agreed to stay away from victims Sandra Banick and Stephen M. Shay and to allow Hermitage police to hold his five guns for a year, both conditions he initially agreed to in November when he was released from Mercer County Jail.

Hermitage police said they were called at 11:14 p.m. Nov. 10 to the home Morrow and Ms. Banick had shared, 3009 Hann Hill Road.

Police gave this account:

Ms. Banick said she came home from work and an argument ensued with Morrow. He grabbed and shoved her.

Morrow pointed a .22-caliber rifle at her and threatened to kill her, then fired a shot into the bedroom ceiling.

Police were called, but Ms. Banick did not tell them about the pointing of the rifle or the shooting. She just wanted Morrow to leave, and he did.

But, Morrow returned and found Ms. Banick with Shay, a friend of hers’, and attacked Shay.

Shay put Morrow to the ground and held him down for a few minutes.

Morrow told police Shay assaulted him.