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The Lake News Online
  • Suspect says shooting was in self-defense

  • Timothy Jacob Stovall of Versailles has been charged with Assault in the 1st Degree and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm after shooting a man in the head twice Sept. 22. He claims Leon Cott attacked him with a machete.
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  • Timothy Jacob Stovall of Versailles has been charged with Assault in the 1st Degree and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm after shooting a man in the head twice Sept. 22.
    Leon Cott, 65, is in critical but stable condition following the shooting at his residence on Wolfe Way in the Gravois Mills area.
    According to the probable cause statement, 29-year-old Stovall admitted to shooting Cott after being attacked by the older man during an argument around 10 p.m. Sunday evening.
    Stovall said that Cott had come at him with a machete during an argument so he shot Cott twice with a pistol he had on him at the time.
    Court records state that the Morgan County Sheriff's Department initially received information on the incident that evening from Timothy S. Stovall — the shooter's father. Timothy S. Stovall reported that someone had been shot in the head on Wolfe Way and that his son was the one who shot him.
    Upon arriving at the scene located at the end of Wolfe Way, police found Cott suffering head trauma from a gunshot.
    Timothy S. Stovall was at the scene and told police his son's story of the attack by Cott with a machete. After the shooting, Timothy J. Stovall had claimed that he threw the machete into the camp fire during the struggle then left the scene and went back to his residence in Versailles — without calling 911 but apparently contacting his father.
    The probably cause statement did not indicate that police recovered a machete.
    Back at home, Timothy J. Stovall waited for his father to make the drive from Sunrise Beach to the scene of the incident but never called 911 call to get help for Cott.
    After Timothy S. Stovall reported the incident and police arrived, Cott was transported by helicopter to University Hospital in Columbia.
    Later that night, a deputy went to Timothy J. Stovall's residence and took him into custody.
    Police also recovered the revolver at Stovall's home. The ASM .44 caliber black powder revolver was found on a deck outside the residence.
    The next day, Monday, Sept. 23, a Morgan County detective talked with Timothy J. Stovall at the sheriff's office. After being read his Miranda Rights, Stovall admitted to shooting Cott twice when Cott came at him with a machete.
    The Class A felony of Assault in the 1st Degree charges that Stovall knowingly caused serious physical injury to Cott. If convicted, it carries a range of punishment of not less than 10 years and not to exceed 30 years, or life imprisonment.
    Stovall was also charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm due to possessing a gun as a convicted felon. This charge carries a range of punishment of not less than two years and not to exceed seven years, or of a fine not to exceed $5,000, or both imprisonment and a fine.
    Page 2 of 2 - On Oct. 12, 2007 in Camden County Circuit Court, Stovall pleaded guilty to the Class C felony of Involuntary Manslaughter in the 1st Degree.
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