A North Maple Street man was sent to jail facing a felony charge after pointing a gun at another man Nov. 11.
Melton G. Bates, 47, of 25 East Main Street was taken into custody at gunpoint outside a 2 North Maple Street residence after he was accused of pointing a gun at the apartment’s owner.
Police were contacted by dispatch, who told patrol officer Greg Bourn that the caller reported being thrown out of his apartment by Bates, who had pointed a handgun at him.
Bourn responded, with a State Police backup en route, and spoke with the plaintiff who verified that Bates pointed a small .22-caliber handgun at him.
Bates then came outside of the apartment and sat down on the steps of the apartment and began drinking a beer. Bourn drew his weapon and ordered Bates to put his hands up. He complied and was taken in to custody.
A search of Bates produced a small German-made pistol from his right front pocket. Police said the gun was not loaded at the time.
Bates was arrested and brought to the station for processing on a charge of third-degree felony criminal possession of a weapon and misdemeanor third-degree menacing. Criminal possession of a weapon is a class “D” felony. The gun was believed to have come from Bates’ girlfriend’s father.
No bail was set and sheriff’s deputies took Bates to the Washington County Jail where he is expected to remain.
Local judges must send a suspect to jail without bail if they have two or more felony convictions, authorities said.
Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright said Bates had multiple felony convictions dating back several years. “The first time I prosecuted him was in 1989,” Kortright said.
Kortright said if Bates had two prior violent felony convictions and this charge became his third, he could face up to 25 years to life in prison.
“I asked for persistent felony offender status the last time I prosecuted him, but that did not happen,” Kortright said.
Bates is a seven-time felon last convicted for a 1994 snowmobile theft for which he was sentenced to 3 ½ to 7 years in jail.
Kortright said he was confident with the case going forward and credited the police department with helping to make that happen.
“I have to praise the Granville Police Department, they did an excellent job with this case – we’ll see where it goes from there,” Kortright said.
Bates was scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing today at which time the judge would determine if there was enough evidence to hold him over for the Grand Jury.
Kortright said Bates also faced additional charges from a separate incident which had not yet been made public.