POTOSI — A Washington County jury found a Bonne Terre man guilty of one charge but not guilty of two others.
On Friday, after deliberating an hour, the jury found Charles Ramsey Sr., 43, of Bonne Terre, guilty of the Class D felony of unlawful use of a weapon. However, jurors found Ramsey not guilty of second-degree assault and armed criminal action.
Ramsey is scheduled to be sentenced June 1 before Circuit Court Judge Sandy Martinez.
Washington County Prosecuting Attorney John Rupp and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Holly D’Andrea alleged Ramsey threatened a man with a knife on Sept. 9, 2006 at the Belgrade Cafe. Ramsey was upset with the man because the man owed him $650 for automotive work that was completed a couple years before.
Four witnesses for the prosecution testified they saw Ramsey flourish a hunting knife and then drop it on the floor when the two got into a scuffle.
A waitress said she heard Ramsey threaten to cut the man’s throat. She said he pulled a knife out and the other man pushed Ramsey, causing him to drop the knife. She said she called 911, telling police about a disturbance involving a man with a knife.
However, Ramsey and the two people he was with (a friend and a stepson) that day testified they stopped in at the cafe early that morning to get breakfast before putting up a deer stand for a disabled man.
The friend and his stepson said they didn’t see Ramsey pull out a knife and they didn’t think anyone had a knife that day.
Ramsey said he had his multi-use tool which he always carries but did not pull it out or threaten the man with it.
Ramsey said he was standing at the buffet table holding a plate of food when he saw the other man. Ramsey said he asked the man if he had any money for him. He said the man commented back and then assaulted him. He said his friend pulled the man off of him and Ramsey left, leaving $40 on the counter for the broken dishes. He said the other man said he would take care of the other part of the expenses for dishes.
Rupp argued that Ramsey, his friend and his 18-year-old stepson had every motive to lie. He said the friend lied about not having a felony conviction.
He said the friend and the stepson didn’t make their first statements to police until two days before trial.
He said it was all about revenge and there is nothing excusable about pulling a knife and threatening to cut a man’s throat.
Ramsey has two prior felony convictions from 1986 and one from 1996, all for stealing.
Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at email@example.com.