http://cbs5.com/localwire/localfsne...eadlineNews/MARINE-CHARGED/resources_bcn_html SANTA ROSA (BCN) The case of an Iraq War veteran accused in a felony weapons charge locally was set for trial today, with the defendant downplaying the incident that led to his arrest and saying a guilty conviction would ruin his life. After a hearing today to transfer his case to another magistrate, U.S. Marine Cpl. Lorin Colin Smith was set to appear in Sonoma County Superior Court on Wednesday on a single charge of willfully discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner that could result in injury or death to a person. Cpl. Smith saw a lot of combat during his two tours in Iraq. His Humvee was in a convoy two hours behind the one that contained Lance Cpl. Patrick O' Day, of Santa Rosa, who died at age 20 when his tank overturned in the Euphrates River in Nasiriyah on March 25, 2003. Smith, 23, was in the process of enlisting in the Marines on Sept. 11, 2001 and he will tell you his 3rd Battalion was among the first 20 vehicles that left Kuwait and entered Iraq when the war began nearly four years ago. After his two tours of duty that lasted 16 months he was placed on inactive reserve in September 2005. On April 10, 2006, Smith fired his SU-16 Kel-Tech .223 caliber semi-automatic hunting rifle into a woodpile in the yard of his parents' home in rural Forestville. He said gunfire is common in the wooded area surrounding his parents' 2-acre property, and when someone fires off a few rounds, others sometimes respond "just to make noise.'' He likened it to "a conversation'' and also admits it helps release tension. "It's a guy thing,'' he said. But his neighbor called the Sonoma County sheriff's office to report a disturbance, Smith recalls, and before that night was over, Smith was arrested and officials confiscated weapons and parts of weapons worth $6,800 in total. He spent about 14 hours in detention in the county jail. Sheriff's deputies told him they were taking him to the Veterans Administration to get counseling, but took him to the jail instead, Smith said. On Wednesday he will be in his dress blues when he appears in Sonoma County Superior Court to be tried for one felony count of willfully discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner. The statute carries a penalty of up to one year in the county jail or state prison. Smith and his attorney Richard Scott think the charge should be reduced to a misdemeanor and Scott has lobbied the Sonoma County district attorney's office to reduce the charge. Both Scott and Smith admit the incident was a disturbance of the peace and Smith said he is willing to plead guilty to that misdemeanor offense. "A felony will ruin my life,'' Smith said outside the courtroom today where a judge transferred the case to another magistrate. Scott said the prosecution would have problems proving the case. He said he would ask the trial judge to dismiss the case after the prosecution presents its case. He also says he doesn't believe a jury will convict his client of a felony. "The purpose of a district attorney is to protect the public and determine that justice is done, not act like computers, but to look at the circumstances'' Scott said. "The rifle was fired into the ground.'' Smith said the nearest house was several hundred feet away and no one was in danger. The woodpile was in the middle of his parents' yard and he was standing a foot away from it when he fired the hunting rifle. He said he is careful about securing the weapons he owns, keeping them under lock and key, and he keeps the ammunition in an area separate from the weapons. Assistant District Attorney Christine Cook said professional ethics prohibit her from discussing the case to protect the defendant's right to a fair trial. Cook said the charge could be filed as either a misdemeanor or felony but that it is a serious charge that involves public safety. She said the district attorney's office is doing a "thoughtful review of the case.''