Franklin County Courthouse

A Gerald man was taken into custody after police said he brandished a sawed-off shotgun, threatening the property manager of a mobile home park in Gerald. 

Steven R. Ames, 30, was charged this week by Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Becker with the Class E felony of unlawful use of a weapon. The charges stem from an alleged encounter that happened on June 28 in the Hillside Trailer Park. 

According to court records, at 9:50 a.m. on June 28, an individual, who wasn’t identified in the case, entered the park to contact residents. As the individual approached a trailer, a man — later identified as Ames — allegedly exited the trailer, carrying a shotgun and “waving it around.” 

Ames reportedly told the person to “get out of here, or I’m going to load the shotgun.” Police later located a sawed-off shotgun, along with a box of shotgun shells, where Ames lives. 

Ames also reportedly shoved the individual. 

The alleged encounter was witnessed by a neighbor, according to police. 

If found guilty, Ames could face up to four years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, up to one year in the county jail or a fine of $10,000. He also could be ordered to serve time in custody and to pay a fine. 

Ames was arraigned in the Franklin County Associate Circuit Court via video conference on Wednesday. A pretrial assessment has been ordered, according to court records. His bond is set at $20,000, cash only. If he is released on bond, it would be on the condition that he have no contact with the unidentified individual in the case and not possess any firearms.