Nursing home gun case sent to grand jury
by Jack Latta
PRESTONSBURG — Philip Baldridge appeared in Floyd County District Court Tuesday after being charged by police last week with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Baldridge, 55, of Prestonsburg, was arrested last Monday after reports he was seen carrying a semi-automatic assault rifle near a nursing home.
According to Prestonsburg Police Officer George Tussey, who appeared in court to testify in the preliminary hearing, Baldridge was seen by as many as nine witnesses carrying the firearm near the Riverview Nursing Home.
According to Tussey, Baldridge was later found at home, wearing clothes that matched witness statements. Tussey testified that when he asked Baldridge where the gun was, the officers were told it would be in a closet. When the officers could not find the weapon in the closet, Baldridge allegedly told them it was stashed in the attic floorboards in a plastic bag.
Tussey told the court that Baldridge did tell the officers the exact location of the weapon in the attic. According to Tussey, officers retrieved two SKS type assault rifles, and one .22-caliber rifle.
Baldridge’s preliminary hearing was put on hold for half an hour or more when no lawyer appeared in court to represent him. Baldridge claimed he was to be represented by Gerald Derossett, though when tracked down in another courtroom, Derossett reportedly told the court official he had not agreed to represent Baldridge in Tuesday’s hearing.
Baldridge was assigned an attorney from the public defender’s office to represent him during the preliminary hearing. If he so chooses, Baldridge may hire different counsel at a later date.
After hearing testimony from Officer Tussey, District Judge Jimmy R. Marcum remanded the case to a Floyd County grand jury. Baldridge is currently being held in the Floyd County Detention Center. His bond is set at $5,000 cash.
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a Class D felony, which is punishable by 1-to-5 years in prison and as much as $10,000 in fines.
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