A rural Mountain Home woman charged with pointing a shotgun at neighbors, including three young children, entered a no contest plea to an aggravated assault charge and was sentenced to four years probation during a session of Baxter County Circuit Court Thursday.
But, the plea agreement almost came off the rails when 38-year-old Andreana Sewar argued she had not had a shotgun as charged, but a shovel, and she had taken the actions she did in self-defense.
She told Judge John Putman she never owned a shotgun.
She said her father, who was in the courtroom, came to tell the judge “what was going on,” and indicated the situation was the product of what she described as an “ongoing feud between in-laws of the father.”
Judge Putman said there was a major difference in a shotgun and a shovel, and he was not going to take a guilty plea from someone who had not committed the acts as charged.
Sewar then began to argue she wanted to take the four years probation she had been offered and Judge Putman said, “If she was not guilty of the charges, she needed to take her case before a jury and let them decide.”
The probable cause in the case paints a very different picture. In the affidavit, Sewar is alleged to have told a Baxter County deputy sheriff she had gone to her home and brought the shotgun back to the neighbors’ property.
The deputy had responded to a residence along Hanover Lane in April where a verbal altercation involving Sewar and three neighbors was underway. The deputy reported the neighbors, all said to be related, told him they had been having problems with Sewar for some time, and she had been told not to come on their property.
When she showed up even after being told to stay away, a verbal altercation erupted and Sewar departed. One of the neighbors said she thought the confrontation had wound down and allowed her children — ages 1-to-3-years old — to go outside and play.
According to the affidavit, Sewar showed up again — this time armed with a shotgun. One of the neighbors alleged Sewar taunted them, yelling, “What do you have to say now?” The neighbors reported Sewar had pointed the weapon at them at least three times. The children were brought into the residence, and a call to 911 was made.
The deputy reported Sewar said she had gone home and gotten a shotgun but denied pointing it at anyone.
On Thursday, the plea taking process was stopped after the shovel or shotgun argument began. Sewar and her father met with Deputy Public Defender Sam Pasthing, and a compromise was reached, in which Sewar pled no contest — meaning she did not admit to elements of the charge, but conceded the state could prove the case at trial.
In another incident that did not result in the filing of formal charges, it was alleged Sewar had gotten into a heated argument with her father and his wife in July over the possibility the wife’s car would be repossessed if Sewar did not make payments to a bail bond company.
According to court records, the company posted a $20,000 bond allowing Sewar to be released from jail and guaranteeing she would make court appearances in the case involving the altercation with the neighbors.
The wife told the responding Baxter County deputy sheriff she had put up her car title to guarantee the company would be paid its fee.
Bail bond companies generally charge 10 percent of the face amount of the bond, and payments are often arranged.
As the deputy was interviewing the father and his wife, Sewar approached them and began threatening not to make payments to the bondsman so the car would be repossessed.
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