A Hannibal man was charged Tuesday on gun related charges, according to the Marion County Prosecuting Attorney David Clayton.
The probable cause statement stated that officers were called to Hannibal Regional Hospital at 3:03 a.m. for a report of a gunshot wound. It stated when officers arrived, the victim, a 17-year-old Hannibal man, reported he had been in an argument with his brother, Seth Emerson, 19 of Hannibal, when the victims dog became aggressive with Emerson. Emerson retrieved a handgun in an attempt to scare the dog. It stated that while confronting the dog, a full-grown American Bulldog named Karma, the gun fired, hitting both the dog and the victims leg.
The Hannibal Police Department stated that officers recovered the weapon at the scene in the 3100 block of Rendlen Ave. They stated that Emerson later turned himself in at the police department.
Clayton stated Emerson was allegedly intoxicated at the time. He stated that in Missouri, it is unlawful for a person to fire a gun while intoxicated.
Clayton stated Emerson was charged with the Class E felony of Unlawful Use of a Weapon and the Class A misdemeanor of Animal Abuse.
“The dog is alive and recovering," stated Clayton. "Under Missouri law, in order to charge a person with felony animal abuse, there needs to be a factual basis that the animal was tortured or for the suspect to have a prior conviction for abuse. Neither of those scenarios were supported by the available evidence so the misdemeanor charged was deemed appropriate.”
Clayton stated Emerson faces up to 4 years in the Department of Corrections, or up to 1 year in jail or a fine up to $10,000 on the E felony count. The A misdemeanor carries a range of punishment up to 1 year in jail, or a $2,000 fine or both.
Emerson was housed in the Marion County jail awaiting a bond to be set. His first court appearance will likely be July 20th on video, according to Clayton.