Point man pleads to malicious assault

By Beth Sergent

November 29, 2013

POINT PLEASANT — A man who allegedly shot through the back patio glass into his neighbor’s home, wounding two people earlier this year, has entered into a plea agreement.

Franklin Scott Eaves, Point Pleasant, appeared in Mason County Circuit Court before Judge David W. Nibert this week and pleaded guilty to one count felony malicious assault and one count shooting near a dwelling, the latter of which is a misdemeanor. Eaves was indicted by a May grand jury on four counts malicious assault, wanton endangerment and shooting near a dwelling. His sentencing is set for 9:45 a.m., Jan. 10, 2014.

Back in January, law enforcement officials alleged Eaves shot through the back glass of a residence on Evergreen Drive at Pleasant Valley Apartments. He allegedly wounded Earl Bonecutter, Jr., and Michael Stewart, both of Point Pleasant, who were inside the apartment.

Then Point Pleasant Police Chief Ernie Watterson said both Bonecutter and Eaves were neighbors, and it appeared after an argument ensued, Eaves retrieved a shotgun, went back to Bonecutter’s apartment and allegedly starting shooting through the first floor back patio glass doors, wounding both Bonecutter and Stewart, who was also at the residence.

Eaves fled the scene and was later found on the railroad tracks behind a local car wash, “highly intoxicated” and with symptoms of hypothermia, according to Watterson. Eaves was transported to Pleasant Valley Hospital for treatment of hypothermia.

Back in January, Watterson said alcohol appeared to have at least played a part in the escalation of the argument, but the reason for that argument remained unclear. Watterson did say the incident did not appear to be drug related.

Eaves has already spent several months in jail, becoming incarcerated in January and then released in April on bond after that bond was reduced from $100,000 to $50,000. In court documents, an attorney for Eaves argued he had no prior criminal history involving violent crimes and he would not be living in close proximity to any of the victims in this case while on bond.

The sentence for malicious assault is not less than two nor more than 10 years in jail. The sentence for shooting near a dwelling is is a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500 or confined to jail for not more than 100 days or both fined and confined.

Appearing for the state was Sherry Ehling of the Mason County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Attorney John Proctor represented Eaves.