Bland man charged with 2 felonies, three misdemeanors in assault on deputies

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 6/18/20

A Bland man was charged June 9 with two felonies and three misdemeanors following an attempt to first evade and then assault deputies from the Maries County Sheriff’s Department.

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Bland man charged with 2 felonies, three misdemeanors in assault on deputies

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A Bland man was charged June 9 with two felonies and three misdemeanors following an attempt to first evade and then assault deputies from the Maries County Sheriff’s Department.

Maries County Sheriff’s Department Belle Division deputies Caleb Cooper and Bret Turnbough responded to an emergency call in the morning hours of June 10 to a residence on Apple Street in Belle. The call reported a male subject, Danny L. Stradford, 62, of Bland, was attempting to kill someone. According to the deputy’s report, Stradford fled out of the back window of the home as deputies arrived.

During his attempt to flee, Stratford repeatedly called 911, cursed at the dispatcher and demanded to speak with Sheriff Chris Heitman, saying, “If the sheriff values his deputy’s life, he needs to call them off.”

Deputies later located and attempted to apprehend Stradford while he was walking down Johnson Avenue in Belle. Stratford threatened to kill both deputies, aggressively approaching them. He pulled a knife, attempting to stab Turnbough, as the deputy attempted an arrest.

According to the police report, Turnbough was forced to protect himself, but instead of using deadly force, physically forced Stradford to the ground. Deputies were eventually able to take Stradford into custody.

Once in custody, deputies located a hypodermic needle along with the knife that the subject used to attack. While in custody, Stratford threatened to kill the deputies’ families and promised to get them when he gets out.

Stradford has been charged with felony B assault in the second degree — special victim, felony (unclassified) armed criminal action, misdemeanor A resisting/interfering with arrest, detention or stop, misdemeanor B misusing 911, and misdemeanor D unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Maries County Judge Kerry G. Rowden issued a warrant on June 10 for the five charges that were filed on June 9 by Maries County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Skouby.

“He has been charged and I am glad no one was seriously injured or killed and proud of deputies using the restraint they did,” Heitman said. “Had he pulled the knife a little quicker, I am sure he would have hurt someone. I hope the courts don’t let him out.”

Heitman said the judge will probably take into account that Stradford threatened the deputies’ families during sentencing.

“Right now I would anticipate 10 years for one charge alone and armed criminal action — he won’t come back out — which would be best for society,” Heitman said.

Heitman commented on Facebook that Stratford is a career criminal with his first real arrest prior to the sheriff being born.

“Stradford was first arrested in 1978 for robbery and obtained his first felony conviction in 1979,” Heitman wrote. “Since then, Stratford continued to be arrested and convicted of serious offenses including assault, unlawful use of a weapon, stealing a motor vehicle, arson, stealing, escape from custody, property damage, violation of an ex parte, resisting arrest, armed criminal action, domestic assault, drug possession, resisting arrest, causing the death of another, and the list goes on.”

Stradford is being held in the Maries County Jail without bond. An amended felony complaint was filed June 11, and he appeared in court before Rowden on June 12. The judge noted that the defendant was in custody during court and Stadford entered a plea of not guilty. The case has been set for deposition or trial setting for 10 a.m. on June 23. A preliminary hearing was held on Tuesday, June 16.

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