BURLEY — A 69-year-old man who pointed a gun at his neighbor will spend time in a prison-run therapeutic program for his crime.
A Cassia County judge sentenced 69-year-old Stephen Douglas Bailey Jr. to the program with the option to send him to prison for five to 15 years depending on how well he does.
Bailey, who formerly lived in Murtaugh, was found guilty of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as a persistent violator at a December jury trial.
“Pulling a gun on your neighbors is not appropriate,” McCord Larsen, Cassia County chief deputy prosecutor, said. “And cocking a gun is no way to solve problems.”
Bailey was taken into custody immediately after the Tuesday hearing.
He was charged after sheriff deputies were called to 933 S. 2030 W. on July 27.
Police said the neighbor, who has a dog-training business, was at his home talking with customers, when he saw Bailey leaning against a fence post with his gun drawn. The neighbor told police he raised his arms and approached Bailey to calm him down but Bailey kept leaning on the fence and pointing the weapon. The neighbor drew his gun and pointed it at Bailey and said he was afraid Bailey would pull his trigger. After a few moments the neighbor lowered his gun and Bailey lowered his.
During the trial, Larsen said, it became evident that Bailey does not think that he has done anything wrong.
Larsen said Bailey is a “life-long” violator of the law.
Bailey’s attorney, Tim Schneider, said he objected to Bailey being characterized as a life-long felon. This was his third felony, the first two were felony DUI convictions and his first occurred when he was 50 years old.
“He went 50 years without a felony,” Schneider said. “That doesn’t make one a life-long felon.”
Schneider recommended that the court sentence Bailey to a term of probations saying he is not a danger to reoffend and he no longer drives a vehicle.
Cassia County District Judge Michael Tribe said while it is clear Bailey has an alcoholism disorder, his actions had an impact on his victims and the community take-away from the case needs to reinforce that it is not OK to point a firearm at your neighbor.