Man involved in standoff pleads guilty

By Dick Mason, The Observer April 02, 2014 09:39 am

Gregory Carter will be extradited to Kentucky after serving time in Union County

Gregory Scott Carter, the man arrested following a 5-1/2 hour standoff on Leffel Road on Feb. 22, pleaded guilty Monday morning to misdemeanor charges of menacing and recklessly endangering another person. 

Carter, 47, was given 24 months probation for each conviction to run concurrently. The combined probation terms call for Carter to serve a total of 60 days in the Union County Jail, 30 days for each conviction. He will receive credit for time served. Carter has been in the Union County jail for 39 days since his arrest.

Terms of the probation Carter received for his conviction of menacing include an order to pay $500 in fines and an order to pay $300 in attorney fees.

Carter was fined $940 for the recklessly endangering conviction, but the fine was suspended.

The La Grande man decided to plead guilty as part of a plea agreement. In exchange for pleading guilty, a charge of obstructing governmental or judicial administration was dismissed, said Union County District Attorney Kelsie McDaniel.

Carter was arrested about 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22 after holding four of his children, all under 18, against their will at his home at 62352 Leffel Road. The standoff ended peacefully when Carter was taken into custody by the Union County Tactical Team, which is comprised of Union County Sheriff’s Office officers.

Carter told Union County Circuit Court Judge Russell West on Monday that “I lost my mind” during the incident and said he was guilty of both charges.

“I’m sorry about the whole situation,” Carter said.

West then admonished Carter.

“What you did was inexcusable,” West said.

The judge reminded Carter of the possible consequences of his actions. 

“It was a disaster. You could have killed somebody or yourself,” West told Carter.

One condition of the probation sentence for the menacing conviction is that Carter write a letter of apology to Sgt. Nick Pallis of the Union County Sheriff’s Office. Carter threatened to shoot Pallis during the incident when he went to his house to see if he was OK and asked if he could help. Carter’s threat to Pallis was the basis of the menacing charge.

Carter said he regrets threatening Pallis and has nothing against him.

“Nick is a good guy. If it wasn’t for him, I might have shot myself,” Carter said.

Carter was later apprehended after a law enforcement officer brought a pizza to the front door of his home. Carter was taken into custody after he came outside to get the pizza.

Law enforcement officers found two firearms in Carter’s home during a search conducted immediately after he was apprehended. One was a shotgun, that discharged during the standoff. Carter said the shotgun was leaning against a dresser and went off when someone accidentally bumped it. Nobody was injured when the gun went off, an incident that led to the recklessly endangering another person charge. 

Carter was asked about his mental health at Monday’s hearing. He told the court he suffers from chronic depression and a bipolar condition. Carter said he had been taking medication for these conditions but stopped in early 2011 because he could no longer afford to purchase the medicine.

Carter was originally arrested on Feb. 22 on a charge of a parole violation out of Campbell County, Ky. The parole violation was connected to an original charge of larceny, McDaniel said.

Carter has waived extradition and will be returned to Kentucky after he finishes serving his jail time in Union County.

The maximum sentences Carter could have received for each conviction was a year in jail and a fine of $6,250.

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