Prosecutor files motion to dismiss case against local jeweler

Xenia Justice Center, 101 N. Detroit St.
Caption
Xenia Justice Center, 101 N. Detroit St.

Credit: City of Xenia

Credit: City of Xenia

A special prosecutor filed a motion to dismiss a case against a business owner accused of threatening golfers with a gun in May behind his Sugarcreek Twp. home.

The motion was filed Thursday to dismiss the aggravated menacing charge against John Stafford, Xenia Municipal Court records show.

ExploreRELATED: Local businessman pleads not guilty to aggravated menacing

Stafford, 63, is the owner of Stafford Jewelers by the Dayton Mall. He was cited May 27 for allegedly pulling a gun during a confrontation with golfers three days earlier behind his home, which sits along with fifth hole at Sugar Valley Golf Club. He pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge.

Sugarcreek Twp. police were dispatched to Stafford’s home around 4:30 p.m. May 24 after several 911 calls were made about the incident.

“A guy pulled a gun on us,” the 911 caller said in a call obtained by the Dayton Daily News through the Greene County dispatch center. “He came across the course with his dog, threatened us … We’re playing golf and he pulled a pistol on us. He’s threatening everybody.”

The 911 caller said Stafford came out onto the golf course claiming golfers were on his property. The caller stated he and others were on the fairway.

Stafford’s attorney, Jeremy Tomb, said that Stafford was on his own property and that the golfers were being aggressive towards him. He said the golfers were chasing each other in carts they were driving off the path and on a grassy area where signs indicate carts are not permitted. The Greene County Auditor’s website shows that Stafford’s property line extends through the course to the patch.

“I am confused why we are charged to begin with,” Tomb said previously.

ExploreRELATED: John Stafford cited with aggravated menacing for allegedly threatening golfers with gun

In a statement to police, obtained through Tomb, Stafford said he was taking his dog out for a walk in the backyard when he saw a group of men “driving crazily.” He said he yelled to one of them that golf carts were not allowed there and he was cursed at.

Stafford in the statement said one of the golfers charged him with a golf club in hand. Stafford said he drew his weapon once the man was on his property and within 6 feet of him.

Stafford in the report said the man stopped when the weapon came out and he then put it away once he thought it was safe.

“I never took the safety off of my gun,” the statement read.

It is not clear when the judge will review the motion.

Court records show that Stafford has an outstanding balance of $611 in court fees. If the case is dismissed, it is not clear whether he would still have to pay court costs.

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