Man found guilty of shooting his grandson |

Man found guilty of shooting his grandson

A jury on Wednesday found David Bayless guilty on three felony counts of firing a shotgun round into his grandson’s back during a drunken night in summer 2001.

Bayless faces a maximum of life in state prison on charges of unlawful possession of a gun, assault with a firearm causing great bodily injury and mayhem with special circumstances.

The 71-year-old stared ahead behind thick glasses as the verdict by a jury of seven women and five men was read. He whispered to his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Simon Harvey.

“So they want me to die in prison?” Bayless asked.

After the two-hour jury deliberation was over and the verdict was read, the jury foreman said the decision was made mostly on the reason that the woman assaulted by Joshua Stone, Bayless’ 28-year-old grandson, did not hear the shotgun blast. The defense took the position that Bayless fired the gun to defend Donna Shevock, a woman tossed out of the apartment by an enraged Stone, who allegedly had a $3,000 contract on his life.

“We felt he pulled the trigger after all the danger had passed,” said the foreman, who wished not to be identified.

The foreman said another reason for the verdict was Shevock’s testimony that she walked away after being thrown out, and did not run back to her apartment.

“There were quite a few things to make it reasonable not to use a shotgun,” the foreman said, while praising Harvey and Deputy District Attorney Anthony Sears on their professionalism and case presentation.

Harvey was stunned by the verdict.

“I find the verdict difficult to understand,” he said before Sears came by to exchange words on the close court battle.

Back at his office, Sears, who will begin an eight-week first-degree murder trial on Monday while assisting District Attorney Gary Lacy, was happy with the verdict.

“Anger does not create a right for the defense of others,” Sears said.

In Illinois, Janette Stone, the daughter of Bayless and mother of Joshua Stone, was somberly grateful for the verdict. She said she hasn’t called Bayless “father” for decades.

“I just feel like crying when I think of the whole mess,” she said. “It’s amazing that one event could set off a whole chain of events. I’m thankful my son is alive. I feel sorry (Bayless’) life has been such a waste.”

Janette Stone said her son had surgery in Denver in November to relieve severe pain caused by two shattered vertebrae. Four lead shotgun pellets, the size of marbles, remain in his back. Doctors removed one pellet under his left armpit.

The surgery, which required two weeks in the hospital and two more in a nursing home, erased a 20 percent chance of him walking again.

“He would rather not be walking than have the pain he was experiencing,” Janette Stone said.

— E-mail William Ferchland at

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