A Jasper County man accused of deliberately running over another man with his pickup truck pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge in a felony assault case.
Jeremy W. Bryant, 35, pleaded guilty at a hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin to a Class B felony offense of first-degree assault.
Bryant had been facing a Class A felony offense of first-degree assault, which carries from 10 to 30 years or up to life in prison. A Class B felony conviction carries from five to 15 years, and Bryant’s plea deal with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office would limit the prison time that he might receive to no more than five years.
A probable-cause affidavit states that Bryant ran over Jayson Robinson with his truck Oct. 5 in the parking lot of the Lone Elm Pentecostal Church at 3120 N. Lone Elm Road. Bryant, who lives at 5479 W. Redneck Lane, was at his girlfriend’s home on Estate Lane when Robinson, who formerly dated the same woman, punched him in the face and ran, according to the affidavit.
Bryant jumped in his truck and pursued Robinson, hitting him with the vehicle and running over him in the church parking lot. Bryant later admitted to a sheriff’s deputy that he had been chasing Robinson, but he claimed he could not stop in time on the wet grass to avoid hitting him.
Robinson told deputies that on the contrary, Bryant had “floored it” just before he was struck. Sheriff’s deputies and emergency medical technicians who were called to the scene found Robinson’s face covered in blood, his arms cut up and tire tracks across his chest.
Two witnesses told deputies that Bryant’s truck struck a fence and a tree after running over Robinson, and that he then put the vehicle in reverse and drove at the victim a second time. Church members intervened at that point and separated the two men.
Circuit Judge David Dally delayed formal action on Bryant’s plea deal Monday and ordered the completion of a sentencing-assessment report. The judge set a sentencing hearing for June 9.
JEREMY BRYANT was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon and received a suspended sentence in a 2011 incident in which he threatened a woman with a rifle and shot out some windows of her car.