The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 10, 2013

La Russell woman pleads guilty in weapon case

A La Russell woman pleaded guilty Thursday to a reduced charge in a case involving the pointing of guns at her husband while she was drunk.

Amber Burton, 30, pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court to a misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a weapon in a plea deal with the prosecutor’s office.

Burton had been facing a felony weapon charge related to a fight with her husband, Brandon Burton, on April 15 of last year at their home on Locust Street in La Russell. A probable-cause affidavit alleged that she hit him in the face several times with her fist before going into their house, retrieving an unloaded .22-caliber rifle, and coming back out and pointing the gun at him.

The affidavit states that she then threw the rifle on the ground, went back inside and reappeared at a window with a loaded 20-gauge shotgun. When she pointed that weapon at her husband, he ducked out of sight, and she discharged the gun into the ceiling of their living room.

Associate Judge Richard Copeland assessed Burton six months in jail, with execution of the sentence suspended and the defendant placed on probation for a year.

He also ordered that she submit to an evaluation at the Ozark Center and complete any treatment the center recommends.