A resolution was reached this week, but only vague explanations emerged regarding the rifle fire that punctuated a fight outside a Ferrum convenience store last year.
Soon after that Sept. 15 scuffle and shooting incident, Bobby Cleveland Haulsey Jr., 47, of Henry was charged with attempted first-degree murder and using a gun to commit a felony.
On Wednesday in Franklin County Circuit Court, Haulsey pleaded no contest to an amended count of attempted malicious wounding and a reduced firearms charge.
Those offenses can carry a total of 15 years, but Haulsey has no prior criminal record and sentencing guidelines in his case have a midpoint of 24 months behind bars. Through his plea agreement, that’s the maximum amount he could receive.
Assistant prosecutor Dwight Rudd outlined a partial sketch of the incident at Wednesday’s plea hearing.
Rudd said that in the hours before the market fight, Haulsey was hanging out at his home with a female friend and his brother, Gerald Young, 32, plus two Ferrum men, Brian Dawson and Justin Bell.
A still-undisclosed issue sparked a confrontation, and Rudd said Haulsey ordered the other men out of his house. As tensions escalated, Young suffered a knife wound to his back.
Young, Dawson and Bell left to tend to Young’s injury, but opted not to seek hospital treatment and went, instead, to the Ferrum Minute Market in the 9700 block of Franklin Street.
At the store, they again encountered Haulsey, and Rudd said the conflict reignited — this time in front of security cameras — and peaked with Haulsey retrieving a 30-06 rifle from his vehicle and aiming it at Bell, who then reached for the gun.
“Right as he grabbed it, it went off,” Rudd said, and he explained that a round struck a shelter above a gas pump. The two men began a tug-of-war over the rifle, Rudd said, until Dawson attacked Haulsey: “He nearly beat him unconscious.”
“We don’t know if there was alcohol or anything else involved, but certainly there was some anger,” Rudd added.
That animosity appears to have subsided, however. Rudd said a wounding charge against Haulsey was dropped in family court because Young claimed he wasn’t entirely sure who cut him. Haulsey didn’t pursue assault charges against Dawson for the parking lot beating and, Rudd said, even the store owners did not seek to have any of the men banned so long as they remain on good behavior.
Haulsey, who has already served about seven months in jail, was granted release on a $10,000 bond but will have to return to custody and finish out whatever sentence he receives at his next hearing on Aug. 6.