Sunday, June 13, 2021

Edmundson enters Alford plea

Editor | June 4, 2021 7:00 AM

A Pipe Creek Road man accused of leveling a handgun at a UPS deliveryman late last year has pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon by way of an Alford plea.

Robert Nevin Edmundson changed his plea in Lincoln County District Court on May 24 after reaching a deal with prosecutors. In an Alford plea, a defendant maintains innocence, but acknowledges that a jury likely would find them guilty based on the evidence.

Authorities charged Edmundson following the Nov. 24 confrontation. According to court documents, a shaken deliveryman contacted the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office shortly after the incident, telling Deputy Derek Breiland that Edmundson came to the door armed about 10:20 p.m.

The victim said that Edmundson pointed the gun at him and kept it leveled even after he identified himself as a deliveryman. His finger allegedly was on the trigger. According to the deliveryman, Edmundson refused to lower his weapon.

The victim apologized profusely, according to court documents, and explained his late-evening arrival as owing to the volume of packages getting shipped during the holiday season. Edmundson allegedly cursed at the victim and told him to have his supervisor return with the package at a later date.

“[The victim] said Edmundson had the firearm raised the entire time he was there and never once lowered it, even knowing who [the victim] was and knowing that he was not a threat,” Breiland wrote in the affidavit. “[The victim] then turned his back, got into his truck and left the property without incident.”

Breiland noted that the victim sounded rattled while recounting the confrontation. The deputy attempted to follow up with Edmundson, but could only reach his voicemail.

When he returned to work, Breiland found a message from Edmundson. In it, the other man said he had no landline and no mobile phone reception near his home, but he planned to drop by the sheriff’s office during his next trip into town. Breiland instead drove out to meet Edmundson.

During the ensuing conversation, Edmundson apologized but defended his actions. He was asleep when the deliveryman arrived and awoke to his dogs barking and lights shining on his door.

Edmundson recalled telling the driver it was too late for deliveries — “Now is not the time to do business,” he remembered saying — before instructing him to leave the property.

According to Breiland, Edmundson acknowledged that the deliveryman asked him to lower the weapon. He told the deputy that he was in a foul mood from being awoken and reiterated the lateness of the hour. Edmundson confirmed to Breiland that he was aware that the other man was a UPS driver during the confrontation.

Breiland then told Edmundson that he would face charges for the incident.

“Edmundson seemed shocked when I told him that,” Breiland wrote. “And I also told him that he can’t point his gun at people.”

In the affidavit, Breiland concluded that Edmundson’s response to the situation crossed into excessive force. The deliveryman, arriving in a clearly marked vehicle and wearing a company uniform, identified himself while trying to deliver a package ordered by Edmundson’s wife, he wrote.

Court officials scheduled Edmundson’s sentencing for June 28.