BENTON -- A Sikeston man has been convicted for attempting to shoot a Sikeston police officer.
Gregory Earl Stevenson, 31, was convicted Wednesday of assault of a law enforcement officer, a class A felony, and armed criminal action, an unclassified A felony, according to Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Boyd. The jury trial was held in Jefferson County on a change of venue.
Sentencing by Judge Gary Kramer is set for 1 p.m. April 24 in Hillsboro, in Jefferson County's Division 2 circuit court. Stevenson faces the possibility of up to 30 years on the assault charge and a minimum of five years on the armed criminal action charge which can either be concurrent of consecutive with the assault penalty.
The charges are related to an attempt to shoot Sikeston Public Safety Officer Brian Dover at approximately 10:57 p.m. on Oct. 26, 2004, in Sikeston near Ruth and Coleman. The shot, fired from a .25 caliber gun, hit the windshield of Dover's patrol car and lodged in the passenger's seat.
Boyd said on the night of the assault, Dover was on patrol when he spotted a pickup truck stopped on Coleman with no headlights on.
As Dover approached the truck, "the vehicle took off with its headlights off, going west down Ruth," Boyd said.
Dover activated his lights and siren and initiated pursuit. The pickup truck refused to pull over, running several stop signs before eventually circling back toward Coleman and Ruth.
"The vehicle kind of stopped, and Officer Dover edged his vehicle up to pin the driver in the vehicle," Boyd said. "At that time the driver exited the vehicle."
While doing so, the driver fell on top of the hood of Dover's patrol car and pushed off, leaving a handprint.
Dover then began to exit his vehicle to begin a foot pursuit. "At that time he began hearing shots and took cover in his vehicle," Boyd said.
The officer determined the gun shots were coming from the left side of the patrol car.
"He noticed after the shooting quit that there was a bullet hole in his windshield," Boyd said. "Both the passenger and driver fled the area, leaving the truck behind."
The SEMO Major Case Squad was called out to investigate the case, Boyd said.
Stacy Townsend of Sikeston, a co-defendant in the case, was placed into custody the following day. Stevenson fled town and was apprehended around Nov. 29, 2004, in Cape Girardeau.
"Based on a hand print left on the hood, testimony of the co-defendant and another witness, Tonya Rogers, and the investigative team, the jury determined it was Greg Stevenson that fired at Officer Dover in his vehicle," Boyd said. The jury took one hour and 40 minutes to reach their decision.
"Assaults on law officers or even attempt at assaults will not be tolerated," Boyd said.
Boyd said Stevenson offered no explanation for firing at the officer. "Mr. Stevenson only asked for an attorney," he said.
Stevenson is also a prior and persistant felony drug offendor with two felony drug convictions, Boyd noted.