Rural Newberry man facing additional charges involving drugs and guns

Additional charges have been filed against a Newberry man who was arrested in late October as a result of a Saturday night stand-off and crisis negotiation situation south of Scotland.

The stand-off ensued when Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy David Elmore responded to a house south of Scotland on a Saturday afternoon because a man had shot a gun at or near another man who was unarmed with his back turned. Additional officers from at least two sheriff’s and one police department responded to assist and after a long night of crisis negotiation, the suspect surrendered.

Brian Byrd

Brian Byrd

Brian J. Byrd, 45, of rural Newberry, was taken into custody after he agreed to come out of his home following hours of negotiations on Saturday, October 27. He was booked in to the Greene County Jail by Deputy Elmore at 11:12 p.m.

Deputy Elmore was dispatched at 3:53 p.m. to Byrd’s residence at 1927 East County Line Road, Newberry. According to a press release from the sheriff’s department, this residence is located south of Scotland.

The shooting complaint came from a woman who reported she and her boyfriend were at Byrd’s residence to pick up her boyfriend’s personal belongings that had been stored there. She said Byrd got mad for an unknown reason and shot his gun into the area where her boyfriend was.

When the deputy arrived, he was met by the couple who had been sitting in their truck in the driveway.

According to Elmore, the man said he’d been friends with Byrd for a long time and had stored some things at Byrd’s residence but Byrd called and told him to come get his stuff. He said he was loading his things out of a shed and into his truck when Byrd came out of the house ‘running his mouth.’ The man said when he turned and started walking back to the shed for another load, he heard a gunshot. He didn’t know if Byrd had shot at him or around him but said he told him, “It takes a big man to hold a gun on a guy with no weapon.” Byrd allegedly responded by telling him he was lucky to be alive.

Elmore reported that when he talked to the woman, she said she was sitting in the passenger seat of the truck when she saw Byrd come out of his house and walk to the edge of the truck bed. She said her boyfriend was walking away from Byrd when she heard a gunshot then saw Byrd pointing the gun, which she described as a revolver, in the man’s direction.

Byrd was inside his home when Deputy Elmore contacted him by phone. Elmore asked him to come outside and talk but Byrd refused. Byrd allegedly admitted he did fire a weapon, said he was protecting himself, said he felt threatened, and that the man had threatened to kill him. But he admitted the man had not touched him and had not threatened him with a weapon. Byrd told the deputy the issue was between two grown men and he continued to refuse to come out of the house. The stand-off situation continued for several hours.

Other personnel who arrived to assist included Greene County Sheriff Mike Hasler, GCSD Chief Deputy George Dallaire who is a trained and experienced hostage and crisis negotiator, other GCSD deputies, along with personnel from the Bloomfield Police Department and Daviess County Sheriff’s Department. The Greene County Ambulance Service responded as well.

At one point, as GCSD’s Dallaire tried to negotiate with Byrd to come out, Byrd continued to refuse and told Dallaire it would get ugly if officers tried to come inside to arrest him.

Elmore reported officers heard from a family member who advised they believed Byrd was contemplating suicide by cop.

As Deputy Elmore prepared documents to establish probable cause to present to a judge after-hours in order to obtain a warrant to arrest Byrd and a search warrant for Byrd’s home, Elmore learned Byrd was texting the man’s cell phone asking him why he got the cops involved and allegedly making threats to kill him.

Around 9 p.m. that night, Greene Superior Judge Dena Martin found probable cause to arrest Byrd and a warrant was issued. She also signed an order approving a search warrant for the property.

After long conversations and negotiations by telephone, Byrd finally agreed to exit his house and Deputy Elmore said he was taken into custody without further incident.

Byrd’s bond was set at $14,000 surety with ten percent cash allowed.

When Byrd appeared for his initial hearing in Greene Superior Court, he was charged with:

  • Intimidation where the defendant draws or uses a deadly weapon, a Level 5 felony, and

  • Pointing a firearm at another person, a Level 6 felony.

At that time, the sheriff’s department noted the investigation into this incident was ongoing and could result in additional charges. And that’s exactly what happened.

Officers executed the search warrant after Byrd was arrested and then additional charges were filed. The add-ons include:

  • Criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, a Level 6 felony,

  • Possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor, and

  • Possession of paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor.

In support of the new charges, additional information was released.

Deputy Elmore reported that during the search, multiple items of paraphernalia associated with marijuana were located throughout the residence and in one bedroom, officers found 15 marijuana plants and growing equipment.

Officers also seized multiple firearms that included one loaded Smith and Wesson .357 that had one empty cartridge, and a loaded AK-47 with two magazines loaded and engaged with one round chambered.

During Byrd’s initial hearing, a public defender was appointed to represent him. In early November, the defense filed a motion requesting a bond reduction. That motion was denied, and Byrd has not posted bond. As of late Monday, he was still in the Greene County Jail.