Charges Filed in Boggsville Shooting Incident
Published on October 15 2012 2:34 pm
Last Updated on October 15 2012 3:03 pm
Written by Greg Sapp
Charges were filed Monday in a shooting incident in the Boggsville community September 30 that left two men wounded.
20-year-old Byron Mesnard was charged with a Class X felony count of aggravated battery involving use of a firearm and a Class 1 felony count of aggravated discharge of a firearm. Mesnard is accused of firing a 22-caliber rifle numerous times, with one of the shots wounding 23-year-old Shane Gephart in the buttocks. Judge Ericka Sanders set bond for Mesnard at $500,000 and issued a warrant for Mesnard's arrest.
Mesnard has since turned himself in to authorities and is in custody in Effingham County Jail.
Gephart told Effingham County sheriff's deputies that he was standing by a vehicle in front of Mesnard's home along Funkhouser Road shortly after 4am on the 30th. He told authorities he had gone to the residence to see Brandi Arnold, who was found by authorities in the residence after the incident. Gephart told the deputies that he saw two people, a man and a woman, arguing, so he went toward the house. He said Mesnard came outside the house with the .22 and started firing shots. Gephart took cover behind the vehicle, which authorities said had several holes apparently made by bullets. When the shooting stopped, Gephart said he began running to a neighboring house and the firing began again, and that's when Gephart was wounded.
When deputies reached the scene, they found Mesnard's mother, Shannon Harris, holding Mesnard in the driveway of the home. They said Mesnard was bleeding profusely, reportedly from a bullet wound under his chin.
Gephart told deputies he estimated that 12 to 15 shots had been fired. Deputies recovered a .22 just inside the door Gephart said he saw Mesnard come out.
Judge Sanders said she found probable cause to hold Mesnard over for trial on the counts and ordered he have no contact with Gephart.
Local attorney Scott Ealy told Judge Sanders that he had been contacted by Mesnard's family to serve as Mesnard's counsel. Ealy indicated that Mesnard still has a bullet or a fragment lodged in his nasal cavity and can speak but only with great difficulty. He said Mesnard remains under medical care.
The Class X felony count is punishable by six to 30 years in prison while the Class 1 count is punishable by up to four to 15 years in prison although probation is an option.