Wappapello man charged in lake shooting incident

Thursday, April 18, 2002

GREENVILLE, Mo. -- A Wappapello man has been charged in the shooting last week at Rockwood Point.

Although Patrick Wayne Freeman has been at the Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center in Farmington, Mo., since the April 10 shooting incident, he was charged Monday with the Class A felony of first-degree assault by Jon Kiser, Wayne County prosecuting attorney.

Freeman will be served with the warrant upon his release from Farmington.

In the complaint filed Wednesday, the 65-year-old was said to have "knowingly caused serious physical injury to Michael Brooks by shooting him." If convicted, Freeman faces a the range of punishments, from a term of not less than 10 years and not more than 30 years or life imprisonment.

Earlier reports indicate the Wayne County Sheriff's Department learned of the alleged shooting from the Butler County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies responded and contacted the victim who reported the shooting had occurred in Wayne County.

The alleged shooting had taken place at Freeman's residence on Rockwood Point -- at the "very end" of County Road 510 past Barrett's Marina.

Looking for job

Wayne County chief deputy Bobby Burch said Freeman met Brooks and his girlfriend, Debbie A. Thompson, at Colton's Steak House & Grill in Poplar Bluff, Mo., during the afternoon of April 9.

Thompson was applying for a job, Burch said, and Freeman allegedly told her "if they don't hire you, I will."

Freeman allegedly offered Brooks and his girlfriend jobs, Burch said.

"He hired the victim to work a bush hog on a farm he had just bought," Burch said. "We don't know why he hired her." While at his residence, Freeman, Brooks, 34, of Oxly, Mo., and Thompson, 39, of Doniphan, Mo., allegedly "talked for a while and then got drunk," Burch said.

The shooting took place after an altercation over the woman, the complaint said.

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