Attempted murder charge reduced

Friday, May 11, 2012

By Karen Hall

Staff Writer

A Marshall County jury convicted a Lewisburg man at the conclusion of an attempted murder trial when that charge was reduced to attempted voluntary manslaughter.

Roy Edward Overcast Jr., 71, of Old Belfast Road, was charged with criminal attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and two counts of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. Last week a jury found him guilty as charged, except they reduced attempted murder to "attempted voluntary manslaughter."

Overcast will be sentenced on June 13.

Documents in his case file show Overcast admitted firing three or four 30-30 rifle shots at the roof of the shop in front of his house where his son was working on the night of July 29, 2011.

"The police came and they stopped short of my house and were shining their lights on me and my house," Overcast wrote in his statement.

"I...told the deputies to come up to the house and they wouldn't; they were telling me to get on the ground," he continued.

"I told the deputies at least 15 to 20 times to either come up to the house or get off my property.

"I went back to the porch and shot at the deputy's car.

"I used a 30-30 rifle and a .22 pistol, and a 16-gauge single-shot shotgun.

"I did this because I was upset with Phillip (his son) for the way he treated me on my property and because of some things my grandson had done," Overcast concluded.

He also admitted drinking mixed drinks that evening, and law enforcement officials found empty liquor bottles at the house.

The Sheriff's Department patrol car was hit by several shots. Overcast refused orders to put down his weapon, and was eventually subdued by Capt. Bart Fagan, using a Taser.

Overcast has remained jailed since he was arrested, unable to make a $500,000 bond. At first he hired Lewisburg attorney Bill Haywood to represent him, but Haywood petitioned the court to be allowed to withdraw from the case, citing disagreement on "the critical path of defense of this matter."

Haywood's request was granted, and when Roy Overcast was arraigned, Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler appointed the Public Defender's Office to represent him.

Overcast was not happy with them, either, and told Crigler the Public Defenders were not working hard enough for him, and did not understand his case. The judge refused to give him another lawyer.

"This all goes back to something that happened 50 years ago," Overcast said as he was led away from court in January. "He knows all about it," he said, gesturing at Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard.