Charge filed in shooting case |

Charge filed in shooting case

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

A 71-year-old man from South Lake Tahoe who shot his grandson in the back last summer is in jail after being charged with a weapons violation.

David Lee Bayless is expected to appear Thursday in El Dorado County Superior Court for a preliminary hearing. He’s charged with being an ex-felon in possession of a shotgun in connection with the shooting that left his grandson paralyzed.

“The shooting we worked, worked and worked but didn’t feel we had enough evidence to sustain our burden of proof,” said Hans Uthe, assistant district attorney. “We continue to assess the case and by no means is it closed.”

Bayless blasted Joshua Stone, 28, of Champaign, Ill., just above his right hip. The shooting took place Aug. 15 inside Bayless’ apartment on Pentagon Road, a horseshoe-shaped street off Highway 50 near Stateline.

Stone came to South Lake Tahoe the day before he was shot. Stone made the trip to Tahoe because wanted to take a break from Illinois and meet his grandfather for the first time.

Bayless told investigators he shot Stone because he feared he might hurt a female neighbor visiting his apartment. The woman was not injured the night of the shooting, police said.

Bayless, Stone and the woman had been drinking alcohol before the shooting occurred. Bayless and Stone had been to Stateline casinos before they reconvened at the apartment around 1 a.m.

Five of the shotgun pellets embedded in Stone’s spine. There are no plans to remove them because the surgery could cause further damage, said Stone’s mother, Janette.

Stone stayed at Washoe Medical Center until Oct. 25. An air ambulance transported him to a hospital at Champaign. Stone spent three weeks there and now he is being cared for at a nursing home, about 10 minutes from his mother’s house.

“He’s just lost the will to live,” Janette said. “He’s just wasting away. He watches TV and mostly he wants to sleep.”

Stone is in extreme pain because the buckshot shattered two vertebrae at the base of his spine and damaged nerves.

Bayless was arrested April 25 and remains in jail with his bail set at $65,000 after pleading not guilty at his arraignment. He could be sentenced to a maximum of six years in prison if convicted.

Records also indicate that Bayless has a criminal history dating back to the 1950s. According to court documents, Bayless was convicted in 1997 of a lewd act with a child under 14 at Reno and sentenced to five years in prison. In 1989, he was convicted of statutory sexual seduction in Washoe County and sentenced to seven years in prison.

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