The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 8, 2013

Judge seeking pre-sentence report in gun case

A Joplin man pleaded guilty Monday to a felony weapon charge in a plea agreement that would result in a recommendation that he receive a suspended imposition of sentence.

Geoffrey C. Blair, 25, pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court to unlawful use of a weapon by an intoxicated person.

Circuit Judge Gayle Crane delayed formal action on the plea deal and ordered the completion of a sentencing-assessment report. She set Blair’s sentencing hearing for March 4.

The defendant stumbled out of his home at 3108 W. Perkins St. with a handgun on Nov. 15, 2010, as a police officer arrived regarding a domestic disturbance. Blair admitted that he drank a half-pint to a pint of vodka before the officer’s arrival, according to a probable-cause affidavit. And his wife told the officer that he had fired a shot into some woods near their home.

The defendant initially faced a second count of first-degree domestic assault for allegedly pointing the gun at his wife. But that charge was dropped by the prosecutor’s office when his wife declined to testify against him at a preliminary hearing.