PINEVILLE, Mo. — A Rocky Comfort man arrested in March with five loaded guns in a parking lot across the street from the Pineville Elementary School took a plea offer this week and received a suspended sentence.
Tommy R. Eastburn, 51, pleaded guilty Monday in McDonald County Circuit Court to a felony count of unlawful use of a weapon in a plea deal dismissing a second count of the same offense and a related drug possession count. Associate Judge John LePage accepted the plea agreement and assessed Eastburn four years on the conviction with execution of the sentence suspended and the defendant placed on supervised probation for five years.
Eastburn was arrested on the charges March 19 when school staff became suspicious of the defendant's presence in a parking lot across the street from the school over the noon hour and reported the matter to the principal, who went to check him out. The principal stopped short of confronting Eastburn when he heard what he believed to be the sound of a round being "chambered" in a gun and went back inside the school, ordered its doors locked and alerted the school resource officer.
The defendant left the lot at that point but was stopped outside of town by Pineville officers, who purportedly found three pistols, an AR-15 rifle and an AK-47 rifle — all loaded — inside his vehicle. He also was in alleged possession of some methamphetamine.
The two weapon counts were for possession of loaded firearms on school property and possession of guns while in possession of the meth.