A man who shot and wounded another man during an altercation outside a Washington tavern was sentenced recently after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge.
Gregory S. Keys, 29, St. Clair, entered a guilty plea to one count of leaving the scene of a shooting.
Associate Circuit Judge Stan Williams accepted the plea and sentenced Keys to serve five days in the county jail.
Keys, originally charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action in the March 12 shooting of Robert Skaggs, 23, Union, was given credit for time already served, according to Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks.
Under the Class A misdemeanor, Keys could have been sentenced to up to a year in the county jail and/or fined up to $1,000.
No fine was levied in the case, Parks said.
The shooting occurred at the corner of Fifth and Stafford streets near the Sand Bar tavern and followed a previous confrontation between Keys and a friend and a group of men including Skaggs.
According to reports, when Keys stopped at the Fifth and Stafford intersection, the other group — in two vehicles — approached the intersection from the north and when they saw Keys’ vehicle they piled out of the cars and stormed Keys’ car. As Keys was backing up, Skaggs jumped on the hood of Keys’ car and was throwing punches or reaching through the sunroof while other men were trying to open the car doors. A brick or some other object was thrown, cracking the windshield on Keys’ car, Parks said.
Keys then fired a pistol through the sunroof and the bullet struck Skaggs, who was hospitalized but later recoverd.
After the shot was fired, Keys drove off, according to reports, and disposed of the gun which later was recovered by police detectives.
Parks Drops Felony Charges in Shooting
Man Charged With Misdemeanor
Tue Apr 5, 2011.
A man accused of shooting another man during an altercation outside a Washington tavern is no longer facing felony charges.
Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks said after reviewing police reports and interviewing witnesses he made the decision Monday to dismiss first-degree assault and armed criminal action charges filed against Gregory S. Keys, 29, of St. Clair.
Keys shot and wounded Robert Skaggs, 23, Union, early Saturday, March 12, outside the Sand Bar at Fifth and Stafford streets, authorities alleged. Skaggs was shot in the chest near his left shoulder.
"I finally got all the reports and upon further investigation and consideration I decided to dismiss the felony charges," Parks told The Missourian Monday.
Parks did charge Keys with leaving the scene of a shooting, a Class A misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of a year in the county jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Skaggs was with several friends, including a young woman, at Big Johnson's Doc Haus earlier in the evening and Keys had talked with the young woman.
Later, the group with Skaggs went to the Sand Bar and Keys and his friend also went to that bar where Keys again struck up a conversation with the young woman and asked her to leave with them. She refused, according to police
Keys and his friend then left, went to a tavern in St. Clair and later returned to the Sand Bar as Skaggs and his group were leaving the tavern. A confrontation occurred in which one man punched the passenger in Keys' car, according to statements to police.
Keys then drove off but returned to the area a short time later which resulted in another confrontation that ended with Keys pointing a handgun out of the car's sunroof and firing one shot that struck Skaggs.
Parks said statements by the different parties were consistent except for certain points. He said as Keys stopped at the Fifth and Stafford intersection, the other group - in two vehicles - approached the intersection from the north and when they saw Keys' vehicle they piled out of the cars and stormed Keys' car.
As Keys was backing up, Skaggs, Parks said, jumped on the hood of Keys' car and was throwing punches or reaching through the sunroof while other men were trying to open the car doors. A brick or other object was thrown, cracking the windshield on Keys' car, Parks said.
"Given all the facts, I felt I couldn't proceed with the felony charges," Parks said.
After the shot was fired, Skaggs fell off the hood and Keys drove off, Parks said. The other men then rushed Skaggs to the hospital.
Keys then drove to the Missouri River bridge where the gun - a 9 mm semiautomatic - was thrown over the side. Detectives later recovered the weapon between the riverfront trail and railroad tracks.
Man Charged in Shooting, Police Recover GunFriday, March 18, 2011
A St. Clair man accused of shooting another man during an altercation outside a Washington tavern has been charged in a two-count felony warrant.
Gregory S. Keys, 29, was being held in the Franklin County Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond in connection with the shooting early Saturday, March 12, outside the Sand Bar at Fifth and Stafford streets.
Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks filed the felony complaint Thursday charging Keys with one count of first-degree assault and one count of armed criminal action.
Keys is accused of shooting Robert Skaggs, 23, Union.
Police Chief Ken Hahn called the arrest a case of “great follow-up police work” by Detective Steve Sitzes.
Sitzes “did an unbelievable job after an exhaustive investigative effort that resulted in cleaning up this case,” Hahn said in a prepared statement.
Sitzes told The Missourian that during his investigation he obtained information that led him to a man who was a passenger in Keys’ car the night the shooting occurred.
Sitzes later arrested Keys who, during questioning, made some incriminating statements, Parks said.
Keys made statements during the interview “that a man has a right to defend himself” and “someone shouldn’t break into a man’s car while he’s in the car,” according to a probable cause statement filed in associate circuit court.
Sitzes said Skaggs was with several friends, including a young woman, at Big Johnson’s Doc Haus Friday night and Keys had talked with the young woman. Later, the group with Skaggs went to the Sand Bar and Keys and his friend also went to that bar where Keys again struck up a conversation with the young woman.
Keys and his friend then left, went to a tavern in St. Clair and later returned to the Sand Bar as Skaggs and his group were leaving the tavern. A confrontation occurred in which one man punched the passenger in Keys’ car, according to the statement.
Keys then drove off but returned to the area a short time later which resulted in another confrontation.
Police allege that during the second encounter, Keys pointed a handgun out of the car’s sunroof and fired at least one shot. A bullet struck Skaggs in the chest near his left shoulder.
Sitzes said according to witnesses, Skaggs was on the hood of Keys’ car when he was wounded.
During an interview, the passenger in Keys’ car said after the shooting they drove over the Missouri River bridge and tossed out the handgun.
Sitzes and another detective searched the area under the bridge and found the gun — a 9mm semi-automatic — in the weeds between the railroad tracks and the riverfront trail.
March 17, 2011
Washington Police announced charges Thursday afternoon against a St. Clair man accused of shooting another person outside the Sand Bar early Saturday, Mar. 12. Gregory Keys, 23, was charged with First Degree Assault and Armed Criminal Action. His bond was set at $100,000 cash.
According to information from police, Keys was seated in his vehicle outside the bar at Fifth and Stafford Streets when a male approached the car and punched a passenger in Keys' vehicle in the face. Keys drove off, circled the block, and returned a short time later, police said. When a group of men approached Key's vehicle, he allegedly took a black semi-automatic handgun from the glove box and shot one of them in the chest. Keys then drove off and threw the gun over the Highway 47 bridge, where it was later recovered by police. The victim was taken to an area hospital, and is expected to recover.
Tue Mar 15, 2011
Police said the victim in Saturday morning's shooting, 23-year-old Robert Skaggs of Union, remained in stable condition at a St. Louis area hospital.
Skaggs was shot once in the chest following an altercation outside the Sand Bar on Fifth Street in Washington.
Police still have not identified a suspect in the case, described as a black male, possibly in his 30s, who left the scene in a dark-colored vehicle.
The incident, reported shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday, remains under investigation.
As of late Saturday afternoon Washington police continued their search for a suspect in an early morning shooting outside a local establishment named The Sand Bar. The suspect, identified as a black male, approximately 30-40 years old, shot the victim once in the shoulder shortly after 1:00 a.m.
The shooting outside the bar at the corner of Fifth and Stafford Streets occured during an altercation between roughly eight or nine people, police said. The victim, identified by police as a 23 year old male from Union, was standing outside the bar, while the shooter was inside a dark colored Cadillac, police said. Police believed two shots were fired through the car's sunroof.
The victim was taken to an area hospital, where, as of late Saturday, he was listed in stable condition, according to police.
Police said they were still piecing together details, and described those they had at this point as "sketchy", because witness accounts could have been blurred by alcohol.
Man Shot Outside Washington BarSaturday, March 12, 2011
A man was shot early Saturday morning at Fifth and Stafford streets following an altercation outside the Sand Bar, according to Washington police.
The man was sent to St. John's Mercy Hospital and later flown by air ambulance to St. John's Mercy Medical Center.
He was listed in stable condition Saturday morning, a police spokesman said.
The victim was described as a white male. No age or address was available. Police described the shooter as a black male who fled the scene following the incident which occurred about 1:15 a.m. Saturday.
A police spokesman said details of the incident were sketchy because both the victim and witnesses did not cooperate with officers who responded to the scene.
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