Ex-felon has court date postponed | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ex-felon has court date postponed

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

His white hair and beard askew, David Lee Bayless limped into court Thursday, conferred with his public defender and then headed back to jail.

Bayless, 71, of South Lake Tahoe, has been in custody since April 25 when officers booked him on suspicion of being an ex-felon in possession of a shotgun.

He was in El Dorado Superior Court on Thursday for a scheduled preliminary hearing. It was postponed until June 20 so attorneys have more time to sort out Bayless’ criminal history, which dates back to the 1950s, according to court documents.

Last summer, Bayless used a shotgun to blast Joshua Stone, 28, of Champaign,Ill., just above his right hip. Lead buckshot shattered two vertebrae and left Stone paralyzed.

Stone is Bayless’ grandson and came to Tahoe to meet his grandfather for the first time. Bayless told investigators that he shot Stone because he threatened a woman visiting his apartment.

Police said the woman was not injured, but all three people involved in the incident had been drinking alcohol.

Hans Uthe, assistant district attorney, said the shooting is still under investigation. The district attorney’s office is working to document Bayless’ criminal history.

“My office continues to look into the defendant’s entire background,” said Deputy District Attorney Anthony Sears. “There may be exposure to other counts.”

If convicted of the weapons charge, Bayless could be sentenced to a maximum of six years in prison.

In 1977, he was convicted of a lewd act with a child under 14 at Reno and sentenced to five years in prison. In 1989, Bayless was convicted of statutory rape at Washoe County and sentenced to seven years in prison.

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