MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- If Ronald G. Hamm Jr. spent his New Year's Eve the way police say he did -- by attacking and then trying to shoot his stepfather -- the 38-year-old Sedgewickville, Mo., man could spend the next 60 years marking the occasion behind bars.
Hamm appeared in a Bollinger County courtroom Wednesday, where he faced felony charges of first-degree burglary, attempted domestic assault and armed criminal action. The burglary and assault charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years each, if Hamm is convicted. Armed criminal assault, an unclassified felony, carries up to 30 years.
Judge Scott Thomsen set Hamm's preliminary hearing for 10 a.m. Jan. 16. Charges against Hamm marked the first Bollinger County criminal case of 2013.
Prosecutor Stephen Gray said in charging documents that the burglary count was filed because Hamm illegally remained in his mother's home with the intent to assault his stepfather.
Hamm's lawyer, public defender Chris Davis, declined to comment.
A probable-cause statement filed by deputy Della K. Moore provided the police's version of events. According to Moore, the incident began about 4:30 p.m. Monday when Hamm's 54-year-old stepfather placed a call for help to the Bollinger County Sheriff's Department. Hamm tried to kick in their front door, the stepfather told police.
The man and Hamm's mother did not want Hamm in their home because he was drunk and on drugs, the statement alleged. Hamm's mother added that her son threatened to kill her husband.
At about 9:45 p.m., a second call was placed to the sheriff's department. Hamm's mother said her son had returned. The stepfather told Hamm he did not want trouble but warned that he had a shotgun. Hamm's mother relented and asked that her son be let in the house.
Hamm went after his stepfather as soon as the door was unlocked, the court filing said. Hamm threatened to blow the man's head off and grabbed his gun, police said. The gun went off during the fight, allegedly discharging buckshot into the door and stairs.
Hamm forced the barrel of the shotgun to his stepfather's chin and repeated that he was going to shoot him, according to the probable cause document. By then a deputy forced his way in and intervened. Hamm was taken into custody.
Hamm later measured a blood alcohol content of .166 -- more than twice the legal limit to drive in Missouri.
Hamm remained in custody Wednesday at the Bollinger County Jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond.
Prior convictions include a misdemeanor theft charge in 1996 and two child-endangerment charges in 1998. Hamm was found not guilty in a 1998 drunken-driving case in St. Charles, Mo.
204 High St., Marble Hill, MO