May trial set for alleged shooter


By Glenn Battishill - gbattishill@aimmedianetwork.com



Lassiter at his arraignment Tuesday.

Lassiter at his arraignment Tuesday.


Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

A May trial date has been scheduled for a Columbus man charged with felonious assault and aggravated robbery after authorities say he shot and wounded a Delaware man here on March 4.

William Devan Lassiter, 34, of Columbus, was arraigned in Delaware County Common Pleas Court Tuesday afternoon, and entered not-guilty pleas to a charge of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; a charge of felonious assault, a second-degree felony; and a charge of theft, a fifth-degree felony.

Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley set a trial date for May 24 and scheduled a pretrial hearing for May 2 at 9:45 a.m.

Lassiter allegedly went to the 286 Hickory Lane residence of William Sims, 39, and planned to purchase a dog from him, police said. Sims is a dog breeder and had arranged to sell Lassiter a puppy, police said. However, during their meeting, police said the transaction went awry and Lassiter pulled out a handgun and shot Sims in the leg.

Assistant county prosecutor Jahan Karamali told Gormley that Sims sustained a femur fracture as a result of the shooting.

The aggravated robbery and felonious assault charges both carry firearm specifications, indicating that a handgun was used to commit the offenses. Gormley said these specifications would add three years in prison to any sentence Lassiter would receive if he is convicted.

Lassiter’s bail was earlier set at $100,000 by Delaware Municipal Judge Marianne Hemmeter on March 7 but Gormley decreased his bail to $75,000 Tuesday.

Lassiter was still in the Delaware County Jail Tuesday afternoon. Gormley said that if Lassiter posts bond, he is not to have any contact with Sims.

After the shooting, police said Lassiter took Sims’ phone, some money and paperwork related to owning dogs, and left in a car with another man.

Without his phone to call for help, police said Sims made his way to the road where he flagged down a woman who was driving east on Pennsylvania Avenue. The woman then called police.

Sims was taken to Grant Medical Center and Delaware County sheriff’s deputies pulled over a car matching the description of the suspects’ car in the area of Polaris and Interstate 71.

Police said Monday that Sims had been released from the hospital.

Police detained Lassiter and a passenger in his car but ultimately did not charge the other man. Police did not release the passenger’s name because he was not charged.

Carlisle Elementary School and Dempsey Middle School were briefly on lockdown as a precaution after the shooting.

Lassiter at his arraignment Tuesday.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2016/03/web1_Lassiter-vertical.jpgLassiter at his arraignment Tuesday. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@aimmedianetwork.com

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.