man found guilty on weapon charge
Wanda English Burnett - Editor
It didnt 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 Tauls 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 Halls 12-year-old son witnessing the
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 Sheriffs
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, Pratts 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 hadnt
violated the immediately protective order against Hall, he didnt
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.