Milan man found guilty on weapon charge

Wanda English Burnett - Editor

‘ It didn’t take the jury long to come back with a guilty decision after a three day trial for David C. Pratt of Milan. He had been charged with Intimidation with a Deadly Weapon, a Class C Felony.
The trial took place in Judge Carl Taul’s Circuit Court on April 24, 25, and 26, with jurors hearing testimony from the victim, Stephen Lee Hall of Milan. He told that Pratt had held a knife within inches of his face with Hall’s 12-year-old son witnessing the scene.

Prosecutor Ric Hertel noted that Pratt has had an ongoing dispute with neighbors including Hall. He noted that the disputes have continued to escalate over the past several years with this one exploding. Pratt was on probation for another crime of intimidation when the episode he was on trial for occurred.

Trooper James Wells of the Indiana State Police was the lead investigator in the case and was assisted by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Department.

Prosecuting Attorney Ric Hertel, who presented the case for the State, commented, “this will hopefully bring some peace of mind to all of the neighbors. It is long past due.”

When the verdict was read by Judge Taul, there was no reaction from either side. Prosecutor Hertel asked that Pratt be remanded to the custody of the Ripley County Sheriff, pending sentencing. He noted that due to the nature of the crime, Pratt’s potential danger, and his past criminal history, he felt it would be best if he was immediately incarcerated. Pratt has been out on a $30,000 cash bond. This request was denied with the judge saying since Pratt hadn’t violated the immediately protective order against Hall, he didn’t think he would be a threat. He further cautioned Pratt against any involvement with Hall.

Sentencing for Pratt is scheduled for May 25. However, Hertel has filed a motion to expedite that sentencing hearing. He noted that the defendant is facing 2-8 years in prison for this crime.