Attempted murder charges against a 26-year-old Newton man have been amended, changed to aggravated battery, theft and criminal possession of a firearm.
Justin D. Tate, 26, of Newton was initially arrested in the 1000 Block of N. Oak Jan. 24 following an altercation that went unreported to police for several hours.
According to the Newton Police Department's Lt. Scott Powell, an argument between two men ended after Tate allegedly fired a gun at another man he was fighting with, grazing a pant leg and thigh of the victim. The victim was fine, not seeking hospital care following the incident. The argument involved several people, with both men and women involved. After the shot was fired, a car was taken and used for several hours.
"(Tate) went to the victim's residence to confront him about something. (Tate) had a baseball bat with him. The victim took the bat, and (Tate) pulled out a gun and shot," Powell said. "... They apparently made up, and got into a car together, but it was the victim's roommates car, and hung out the rest of the afternoon."
According to Powell, the two men left the scene of the incident at about 3 p.m. At about 8 p.m. the owner of the car called to report the car stolen.
"That is how we got the first report of how it all happened," Powell said. "We went to where they thought the suspect was, and he was there and the car was there. We did a search of the house and found a gun. We are assuming it was the same gun but we have not confirmed for sure it is."
The investigation into the incident continues for the Newton Police Department, as investigators are still searching for more witnesses.
"We keep getting names of people of who may have been there, but with the time lapse, tracking all of these people down on what they saw or did not see, we are still trying to do that," Powell said.
In addition to Tate, two others were arrested — Keri R. Kernal, 34, Newton, and Ashley M. Frazier, 25, Newton. Both were initially charged with obstruction of law enforcement and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. Both have been released from the Harvey County Detention Center.