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Jackson man charged with pulling gun on friend while he ate a Hot Pocket
by Steven Hepker | Citizen Patriot
Wednesday March 25, 2009, 3:34 PM
Michael Furnas said he was eating a Hot Pocket at lunch Tuesday when his friend, Justin Batshon, poked a loaded handgun in his face.
"He said 'Take off your shoes!'" Furnas said.
Batshon had fled his home at 900 S. Higby St. to the office of his attorney before more than a dozen city police surrounded the home with shotguns and handguns trained on the windows and doors.
"This got blown far beyond what it should have been," defense attorney George Lyons told District Judge R. Darryl Mazur at Batshon's arraignment today. "He did everything he should have done."
Not counting shoving a loaded .45-caliber gun in someone's face, or ditching the gun between home and Lyons' office, police allege.
Mazur set a preliminary hearing for April 16 and released Batshon on a personal-recognizance bond. Mazur said Batshon, 25, has no previous felonies but a few misdemeanor domestic assaults.
Furnas said he escaped safely but called 911 to prevent someone else from being shot next time. He said another friend claimed Batshon threatened him with the same gun recently when he lit a cigarette in his home.
Batshon's mother today said her son was a tragedy waiting to happen. Kellie Batshon said he a troubled young man who is reckless with guns and increasingly violent in his relations.
Kellie Batshon said she is angry that she was penalized for trying to save her son and grandchildren. She took a loaded shotgun from Batshon's home in the fall of 2007, after she warned him not to leave it loaded around his son.
"I unloaded it, put it in my trunk and took it home with me," she said. A year later, when she refused to give her son money, he reported she stole his gun, she said.
She was charged with larceny of a firearm, a potential five-year felony, and was allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanor larceny.
"I was ordered to pay restitution of more than $300, which he used to go out and buy a handgun," she said. "I tried to prevent something like this from happening, and I got a criminal record out of it."
Assistant Prosecutor Jared Hopkins said the charge was proper because she clearly stole the gun and that she got a break with the misdemeanor charge.
"If she was so concerned about her son, why didn't she call the police instead of stealing the gun?" he said.