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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, January 09, 2018 1:00 am

Man pleads guilty to firing gun at home

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette


A previous online version of this story had incorrect information about the charge to which Derek Saylor pleaded guilty. Saylor, 40, pleaded guilty in Allen Superior Court to a criminal recklessness charge accusing of him shooting a gun and endangering a man's life June 8. Prosecutors have agreed to drop three criminal recklessness charges accusing him of endangering the lives of a woman and another man the same day.

A New Haven man admitted Monday he endangered another man's life by firing a gun in June.

Prosecutors have agreed to dismiss charges he opened fire at his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend as he stepped out of a mobile home.

Derek A. Saylor, 40, of the 1100 block of Brookwood Drive, pleaded guilty in Allen Superior Court to criminal recklessness. Prosecutors have agreed to dismiss three other counts of criminal recklessness. A jury trial slated for Wednesday and Thursday was canceled.

Judge John Surbeck will sentence Saylor on Feb. 5. The prosecutor's office has not recommended a length of sentence, but the felony Saylor is charged with carries a standard sentence of three years in prison. Saylor was instructed to make arrangements for alternative sentencing.

About 11 p.m. June 8, Saylor road his blue Harley-Davidson motorcycle to the mobile home where his ex-girlfriend lived to pay her the $500 he owed her for shooting out the windows of her car, court records said.

As he waved the batch of bills in the air from the street, the woman's current boyfriend stepped out to see what was going on. Saylor then got off his bike and started shooting a revolver at the boyfriend. A brown Astro minivan pulled up, and when Saylor's gun was empty, he ran to the van where the driver passed him another gun, court documents said.

At this point, the woman and her boyfriend told police, both Saylor and the van driver were shooting at the mobile home, using the van as cover.

Police found 9 mm shell casings in the road and one 9 mm live round on the shoulder of the road. The mobile home had three bullet holes in the front. Two of the bullets had penetrated a bedroom wall adjacent to the kitchen and the bullets were found on a couch and a bed, court documents said. Another bullet struck the air conditioner on the side of the home.

Bullets also struck the trailer behind the girlfriend's mobile home.

While the shooting was being investigated, Allen County sheriff's deputies were alerted to a motorcycle crash near Hoagland Road. The driver fled on foot east to a northern tree line. The description of the driver matched Saylor. Police set up a perimeter at the crash site and searched until 1:30 a.m.

The motorcycle was held for evidence.

The next day, officers were called about a man down in a yard. When they got there, Saylor had apparently hidden inside a car in a garage. Officers found Saylor and had him transported to a hospital for treatment of his injuries from the night before.

The boyfriend said he didn't know Saylor and when the men were finished shooting, Saylor drove off toward Parrot Road. The ex-girlfriend told police she had dated Saylor for about nine months and since breaking up with him, he had been sending her threatening texts.