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A St. Inigoes man returned to jail to await his penalty after pleading guilty Friday to committing a second-degree assault last spring by threatening a lawman with what turned out to be a BB gun.

Police responded with real gunfire, but Kevin Vincent Bonds survived the standoff unharmed at his home, and appeared last week for his plea hearing before St. Mary’s Circuit Judge David W. Densford.

“This is fraught with peril. You had a very good chance of dying that night,” the judge said. “This is scary. Officers should not face this kind of assault.”

Sheriff’s deputies Cpl. Keith Moritz and Sgt. Harold Young went to Bonds’ home last June to arrest Bonds on a warrant, St. Mary’s State’s Attorney Richard Fritz (R) said in court, and when no one answered their knock on the door, they stepped inside.

“Mr. Bonds came around the corner pointing a BB gun,” Fritz said, adding that Moritz perceived it was a real gun, and began firing his service weapon toward Bonds.

Fritz said there was evidence that Bonds had been using drugs, perhaps including alcohol.

The judge said at the hearing’s onset that the misdemeanor assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and he ordered that Bonds remain in custody at the county jail to await the results of a presentence investigation.

The state’s attorney stated his opinion shortly after the incident that Moritz was justified in opening fire on Bonds, who was wanted on child-support warrants.

A public defender at one point sought copies of the sheriff’s office records from its internal affairs review of the matter. When the sheriff’s office objected to that request, the prosecutor joined the public defender in protesting that response.

Fritz said in court last fall that the sheriff’s lawyer and the public defender’s office had agreed regarding what records could be released.

The public defender’s office also pursued at one point pleas that Bonds was not competent to stand trial and could not be held criminally responsible for his alleged actions.

Fritz said at Friday’s court hearing that in exchange for Bonds’ guilty plea to committing a second-degree assault on Moritz, the prosecutor’s office will dismiss other charges against Bonds including first-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

jwharton@somdnews.com