By Jeff Lehr
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Assault and weapon charges have been filed against a couple involved in the winging of a man with buckshot Thursday night on Main Street south of Joplin city limits.
The Newton County prosecutor has charged both Clifton G. Beard, 56, and Patricia A. Frossard, 39, with first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon in the wounding of Frankie Werberger, 53, of Joplin. Beard also is facing counts of armed criminal action and unlawful possession of firearms.
Beard is accused of discharging a shotgun at Werberger about 10:30 p.m. when Werberger pulled into the parking lot of a church next door to Beard’s and Frossard’s home at 4408 S. Main St. Some of the pellets from the blast struck Werberger in the arm.
Werberger went to the address to pick up Frossard at her request, according to text messages that Newton County sheriff’s investigators subsequently observed on their cell phones. Werberger told the investigators that when he arrived, Beard came out of the house and started mouthing off at him. He then went back inside, returned with a shotgun and fired it into the air, according to Werberger.
Werberger told investigators that Frossard emerged at that point holding a rifle and yelled something at him. He got out of his vehicle and told Beard that she wanted to come with him and that he should let her go. A probable-cause affidavit states that Werberger told Beard that if he shot him, he would go to jail.
Beard raised the gun and fired at him, the affidavit alleges. Werberger’s injuries were described as minor and not requiring immediate medical attention.
Todd Johnston, who was on a motorcycle passing by at the time, has confirmed much of Werberger’s account, according to the sheriff’s office. Johnston told deputies that he witnessed the shot fired at Werberger and that the man who shot him then pointed the gun at Johnston and yelled.
Deputies reportedly seized three shotguns and two rifles at the residence. Beard was convicted of kidnapping in 2005 and is prohibited from possessing firearms, according to the affidavit.