Henry County, MO – A man who went on a two-day rampage, firing a shotgun at multiple random motorists, was given the most lenient sentence possible by a Henry County Judge.
John Robert Scott, 27, said he was high on methamphetamine at the time of the attacks and that he simply felt like shooting someone, according to a press release from the Office of the Henry County Prosecutor, KDKD reported.
Now, he will be spending less than one year in prison.
The incidents began on May 4, 2017 when Scott fired his shotgun at a 16-year-old boy who was driving his pickup near the intersection of Southeast 550 Road and W Highway, the press release said.
The teen’s truck was suddenly hit by three shotgun blasts that shattered his passenger side window.
A day later, a woman and her stepson were driving southbound on 13 Highway when a man in a nearby pickup began making threatening gestures at her, according to the press release.
The suspect sped off, but the woman spotted the same truck parked alongside Z Highway a short while later.
As she drove by, a masked man opened fire and the woman’s vehicle was hit five times, according to prosecutors.
Less than a half hour later, a 22-year-old motorcyclist noticed the suspect’s pickup on the shoulder of Z Highway and stopped to see if the driver needed help.
The Good Samaritan was approaching the truck when he saw the driver grab a shotgun, the press release said.
Scott fired at the motorcycle and hit it in the gas tank.
The victim fled as Scott fired additional blasts at his retreating figure, striking him in the legs, arms, and back with pellets, prosecutors said.
The motorcyclist was treated for his wounds at a local hospital
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) later issued a bulletin asking for the public’s assistance in locating Scott.
Scott was named as a “person of interest” in “several current criminal investigations, to include unlawful use of a weapon, armed criminal action, and assault,” according to a post on the sheriff department’s official Facebook page.
The gunman was eventually arrested and charged with unlawful use of a weapon by shooting a motor vehicle for the attack on the woman and her stepson, according to the prosecutor’s press release.
He faced up to 15 years in prison for that offense.
Scott was also charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon for shooting the motorcyclist, the press release said.
He faced a potential prison sentence of 15 years for that incident.
Prosecutors never charged Scott in connection with the May 4, 2017 attack on the 16-year-old boy.
Henry County Prosecuting Attorney Richard Shields noted at Scott’s May 23 sentencing hearing that the attacks could have easily killed some of his victims.
Shields urged Henry County Circuit Court Judge James Journey to impose a 30-year sentence by running Scott’s terms consecutively, according to the press release.
Meanwhile, Scott’s public defender asked the judge to impose the minimum sentence, which amounted to three years for armed criminal action, and concurrent probation sentences for the remaining slew of charges.
Journey sided with the defense, and imposed the minimum sentences possible for each offense charged, the press release said.
The judge also gave Scott credit for time served prior to sentencing.
Prosecutors said that meant the gunman will serve less than one year in prison before he is released on probation.