A rural Carthage man received a suspended sentence and probation Thursday in a plea deal on felony drug and firearm offenses.

John R. Kyte, 54, pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court to unlawful possession of a firearm in a plea agreement dismissing related counts of felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor domestic assault and calling for a suspended sentence.

Circuit Judge Dean Dankelson accepted the plea arrangement and assessed Kyte seven years on the conviction, with execution of the sentence suspended and the defendant placed on supervised probation for five years.

The charges stemmed from a domestic disturbance Nov. 14, 2020, at a residence outside Carthage where a female friend of the defendant had locked herself in a room armed with a shotgun out of fear of him. She told deputies that he had just banged on the door as they arrived and yelled to her: "A cop is here. I'm going to kill you."

Deputies learned that Kyte, a convicted felon, had given her the shotgun for Christmas but insisted on keeping it at his house and had restricted her access to it. She said he also kept a rifle in the house.

A probable-cause affidavit states that the defendant admitted to deputies he had bought both guns, and he was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm as a felon. A search of his person at the county jail turned up a bag containing a small amount of methamphetamine, according to records.

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