Suspect charged for shooting grandson |

Suspect charged for shooting grandson

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

David Bayless was charged Thursday on suspicion of using a shotgun to disfigure and inflict great bodily harm on his 28-year-old grandson.

Last summer, Joshua Stone, of Champaign, Ill., traveled to South Lake Tahoe to escape his own troubles and meet his grandfather for the first time. Bayless says he shot Stone to defend a woman at his apartment. Police say the woman was not hurt by Stone.

Stone is now back in Illinois, paralyzed from the waist down.

Bayless, 71, of South Lake Tahoe, has been jailed since April on a weapon charge. The new charge accuses him of being a convicted felon in possession of a shotgun. The addition charges will expose him to a maximum sentence of more than 41 years in prison.

“I can’t say I’m sorry to hear that,” said Janette, Joshua’s mother and Bayless’ daughter. “I’ve got so many mixed feeling about the case. I think he’s a sick man.”

The weapon charge came seven months after the incident partly because investigation of the case was difficult.

“There’s a large amount of investigation trying to detail and document Mr. Bayless’ prior criminal history because it’s 15 and 25 years old,” said El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney Anthony Sears. “Two cases out of Nevada, we had a difficult time getting them.”

Bayless has served time in prison for at least two crimes. In 1977, he was convicted of a lewd act with a minor at Reno. In 1989, he was convicted of statutory rape at Washoe County.

Alcohol has also slowed work on the case. Stone, Bayless and the woman had been drinking before the shooting.

Bayless told investigators he shot his grandson, whom he had known for only a day, because he thought was trying to hurt the woman.

Stone picked the woman out of a kitchen chair and led her out of the apartment, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing.

At the hearing, investigators indicated that before the shooting Bayless listened to a man on his answering machine state that a $3,000 contract was out for Stone’s life. Investigators also testified that, after hearing the message, Bayless said Stone was an idiot and deserved to die.

If convicted on all charges, Bayless could receive a maximum sentence of more than 41 years in prison.

Bayless is next due in court Thursday at 8 a.m. to be arraigned on the new charges.

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