The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

May 9, 2012

Judge orders woman to stand trial in shooting

A woman accused of shooting her boyfriend in the face with a .50-caliber black powder rifle at an apartment in downtown Joplin waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Jasper County Circuit Court.

Associate Judge Richard Copeland ordered Dustin A. Berry, 42, bound over for trial on charges of first-degree domestic assault and armed criminal action. Her initial appearance in a trial division was set for May 21.

Joplin police say Berry shot Michael L. Sanders, 52, in the face during a dispute Jan. 21 in a 12th-floor apartment of Messenger Towers, 102 E. Second St. Sanders was taken to Freeman Hospital West in critical condition. He survived the shooting.

Berry told police that Sanders punched and choked her before the shooting. She claimed that Sanders was drinking with another woman and came to her place in the company of that woman. He then got into an argument with Berry and began assaulting her, she told police.

Police say she went to a former boyfriend in the same building and asked to borrow his black powder rifle to help her persuade Sanders to leave her place. The former boyfriend told officers that he tried to persuade her to call police instead, but wound up loading the gun and showing her how to use it. Police say she later shot Sanders in the face.

Sanders and the former boyfriend were not charged with any offense.

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