Court: Sister protests bond amount for man who 'didn't mean' to point gun at officer

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 7, 2013 

According to Deaven Shephard, pointing a gun at Off. Ryan Vardman was completely accidental.

The 20-year-old — the only one of three to face charges during a Thursday morning Recorder's Court hearing — was arrested Wednesday after he led officers on a several-block foot chase and allegedly threatened Vardman with a loaded .22 caliber handgun.

He faced charged of aggravated assault against a police officer, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, obstruction of law enforcement, reckless conduct and loitering.

Kurtiss Oestricher, 22, and Keyon Clanzy, 20, bonded out before their hearing. Oestricher was charged with intent to distribute marijuana. Both were charged with loitering.

Police attempted to stop Shephard Wednesday afternoon after receiving reports that two men were potentially distributing marijuana near the intersection of Dawson Street and 25th Avenue.

When Vardman arrived to provide backup, Shephard was allegedly loitering in the middle of the road. He began running when Vardman attempted to stop him. Then, in front of a house on Dawson Street, he allegedly whipped out his gun and pointed it at the officer.

"I feared for my life," Vardman said. "So I drew my weapon as well."

The two were at an impasse until Shephard dropped the gun and fled. He was tackled and detained a couple of blocks away.

Though Shephard declined to testify Thursday morning, Vardman said Shephard rapidly explained himself at he was in custody. Pointing the gun, Shephard allegedly said, was unintentional.

"He told me he didn't mean to point the gun at me," Vardman said. "He said he was just trying to get it out of his waistband and dropped it."

Judge Michael Cielinski's bond amounts were not unusual for the charges given: $20,000 for the aggravated assault, $41,000 combined. But not everyone was happy with his decisions.

Shephard's sister, Laquera, later told the court she traveled from Atlanta the night before to attend her brother's hearing.

When Cielinski began reading out the bond amounts, Laquera stormed from the room while muttering under her breath, "This is some bullsh--."

According to Cielinski, it took three officers to detain her after she left the building, cursing as she went. Her profanity and her obstruction landed her with a contempt of court charge and 20 days mandatory confinement.

Usually people charged with contempt of court pay a fine or are subject to less than five days. The last time Cielinski recalls giving more than five days for the charge was when a family member refused to stop shouting during a murder hearing.

"I understand people have emotions," Cielinski said Friday. "But she continued what she was doing all the way outside, continued using profanity."

Related stories:

Robber allegedly intimidates Summit gas station clerk

Report: Ex-boyfriend breaks into woman's house, chokes her

Cause still pending in 21st Street death in Columbus

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service