Witness testimony in Nelson General District Court on Wednesday revealed new details about a January incident that has resulted in a Shipman man facing attempted murder charges.
Jonah Junior Meredith III, 51, is charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault and one count each of malicious wounding, firing at an occupied vehicle, possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, using a firearm in commission of a felony, reckless handling of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.
The two witnesses who testified they were targeted in the shooting were seated in a vehicle together after a gathering at a home in Arrington on Jan. 22. Meredith was in a car parked nearby. Meredith's passenger exited his vehicle to speak with the witness who had exited the other vehicle. The witness in the driver's seat testified Meredith rolled down his window to tell the female witness to "keep my name out your mouth."
Meredith then exited his vehicle and followed her back to the other witnesses' car. She said Meredith struck her on the side of her head as she was climbing back into the vehicle, drawing blood. The witness in the driver's seat got out of his car and asked Meredith why he would hit a woman and said to fight him instead if he wanted to fight.
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He testified Meredith drew a gun, shouted at him “you want some of this, you punk-a**?” and shot through the windshield of his vehicle. Meredith returned to his car and left the scene.
The two witnesses testified they had been parked on a dead-end street, and the only way to leave was to follow Meredith. When they came upon Meredith’s parked car the passenger asked the driver to stop so she could take a picture of Meredith’s license plate. The driver then testified Meredith asked the witness if he “wanted some” too and fired again at the vehicle between the two witnesses. Meredith returned to his car and drove off. The two then contacted authorities.
Both testified to drinking two beers apiece earlier in the day before the incident.
Nelson County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jeremy Tabler told the court he interviewed Meredith on Jan. 29, the day the defendant was arrested. Tabler said Meredith admitted to possessing a firearm and that Tabler recovered another firearm at the home where the group had gathered.
Meredith’s attorney, Peter Frazier, maintained Meredith was not guilty of the charges against him after the hearing. Frazier said he was looking forward to having the case heard before a Nelson County jury soon, adding “it will be fun to see which version of the story the so-called victims tell then,” in reference to what he said were inconsistencies in their stories.
Judge Samuel Eggleston III certified the charges against Meredith to an upcoming term of the grand jury.
Meredith, who previously was denied bond, remains in custody pending further court proceedings.