GROVE - One man has been arrested following a weekend shooting at Mantle Hills Estates on the Honey Creek arm of Grand Lake.
Billy Dean Hardison, 41, also known as Billy Dean Hicks, was arrested Saturday after he allegedly shot a 35-year-old Grove man in the leg shortly after the victim had notified Grove police of items missing from the property.
While being booked into the Delaware County Jail, Hardison, 41, placed a phone call to District Attorney Eddie Wyant, according to Grove police reports.
“Wyant told him he was not his attorney and was putting him in a tough spot,” officer Mark Sheridan wrote after hearing the tape-recorded telephone call.
While Hardison was on the phone to Wyant, Grove Police Officer Ray Harvey reported overhearing the suspect tell the district attorney that two men pulled a gun on him and he fired a shot in self-defense.
Harvey was still completing a police report on the case when, according to his account of the events, Hardison's employer and Mantle Hills property owner Charlie Cheek telephoned Hardison and additional details of the event came from that conversation.
“I fired a shot in the air and one at the ground, but I never told the police that or never confessed,” Hardison reportedly told Cheek.
Digital recordings of both conversations have been placed into the evidence file, Harvey's report indicates.
Hardison is in the process of building a house in Mantle Hills Estates, an area Cheek developed on Honey Creek, according to a building permit issued by the City of Grove.
The shooting victim and another Grove man reportedly told authorities that they'd gone to the job site to pick up some tools belonging to the victim.
Hardison told police that he believed the victim and the third man were at the site to steal property and, after he'd ordered them to leave, they swerved their truck toward him.
Hardison was apprehended shortly after the shooting when he was spotted by Grove police officers.
“I don't have a shotgun,” Hardison told police when asked about the weapon used in the shooting.
Police did find a Ducks Unlimited Edition pump-action 12-gauge shotgun beneath a tarp at one of the home construction sites in Mantle Hills Estates.
When questioned regarding a shotgun shell spotted in the floorboard of his pickup, Hardison allegedly told police the ammunition was there “because I do security for Charlie Cheek at Cheek Motors.”
Hardison made an initial appearance in Delaware County District Court Tuesday, appearing before Special Judge Alicia Littlefield.
She gave the district attorney's office until March 29 to file charges, Assistant District Attorney Terrill Crosson said Wednesday.
Crosson said he didn't anticipate it would take that length of time to file the charges and declined further comment on the case