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Man violates court order, is sent to jail

November 28, 2001

Man violates court order, is sent to jail



By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Fourteen months ago, Shawn Keith Gift was told to stay away from the family of the woman he'd threatened with a shotgun in 1999 or he'd go back to jail. Washington County Circuit Judge Donald Beachley made good on his promise Tuesday.

Gift, 36, of 10190 Gift Road in Clear Spring, was sentenced Tuesday to serve 18 months in the Washington County Detention Center for violation of probation. He was given credit for approximately 230 days he already served.

"I just want him to stay away from my house and stop scaring my grandchildren," said Mary Thomas, mother of Pam Knotts, who was the victim of Gift's September 1999 violent domestic assault at his Clear Spring home.

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Tuesday's probation violation stemmed from an Aug. 10 incident in which Gift pulled his pickup truck into Thomas' driveway. At that time, Knotts was living there but wasn't home.

Later there were telephone calls to the Thomas' residence - calls that Gift denied making.

Defense attorney Ed Button said his client has problems with alcohol and anger. As evidence of the former, Button said Gift has a driving while intoxicated case pending in Washington County District Court.

In September 2000, Gift pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless endangerment and was sentenced to four years in prison, with all but six months suspended. He served part of that sentence and was released.

At that hearing, Beachley placed Gift on probation for five years and ordered him to undergo an alcohol evaluation, to abstain from alcohol or drug use, to obtain anger management counseling, to have no weapons for five years and no contact with the victims.

Washington County Sheriff's deputies David Izat and Tom Routzahn went to the Gift Road home on Sept. 8, 1999, for reports of a shot fired.

Pam Knotts told the deputies she and her daughter had been living at the home with Gift when he got angry and ordered them both off the property, court records said.

As they were walking away, Gift yelled that he would kill them, pointed a shotgun at Pam Knotts' head and fired, according to court records.

The child hid behind Gift's truck while Gift continued to yell that he was going to kill them both, court records alleged.

Pam Knotts and her daughter ran to a neighbor's house where they called 911, court records said.

He initially was charged with two counts each of attempted first-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, and carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure, according to Washington County District Court records.

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