In Arkansas, aggravated assault is a Class D felony. If a person, while expressing extreme indifference to the value of human life, creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person, the person is guilty of aggravated assault. The criminal statute includes pointing a firearm at someone in a way that creates a danger of death or serious physical injury.
There is a maximum prison sentence of six years for someone convicted of aggravated assault in Arkansas. Additionally, if the defendant used a firearm, the sentencing judge can add up to 15 additional years to the sentence. This information may become pertinent after the arrest on Saturday, Oct. 24 of Carla Tyson, the 59-year-old daughter of Don Tyson, who was the chairman of Tyson Foods, Inc. Authorities arrested Tyson in Fayetteville after she allegedly pointed a gun at a couple who were parking their car on the street in front of her house.
The couple were reportedly neighbors from a few doors away who could not find parking in front of their own home. It is alleged that Tyson pointed a 16-gauge double-barreled shotgun at them while demanding that they move their car. Strangely, according to the man and the woman, Tyson then backed away from the car and told them they were scaring her. The couple told Tyson they had called the police.
She then put down her gun and went onto her porch, where presumably she also phoned the police. She allegedly told the police that she was worth $1 billion and was afraid of being kidnapped. Police say that she also admitted to taking the gun with her when she confronted the couple.
Technically, it appears that the accused will have difficulty challenging aggravated assault charges, if the facts reported are substantiated. Arkansas residents who face similar charges may find the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney helpful. Such a legal professional can help accused individuals build defense strategies that fit their individual situations.
Source: arkansasonline.com, "Carla Tyson arrested after couple says she pointed shotgun at them", Oct. 26, 2015