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Fight leads to burglary charges

Thursday, June 23, 2005

A bad mood may send a Melbourne man time to prison.

Justin R. Bishop, 25, has been charged with residential burglary, a class B felony; third degree battery, a class A misdemeanor; and criminal mischief in the first degree, a class A misdemeanor.

The charges stem from an incident at the Lunen Street Apartment complex in Melbourne June 14 at approximately 12:15 a.m.

"He (Bishop) appeared to be in a confrontational mood," said Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence. "He got into an altercation with a friend (James Goodman) after he returned the friend's car damaged."

Bishop forced his way into Goodman's apartment where he made threats against Goodman and Teresa Harshberger, Lawrence said.

According to the Izard County Clerk's Office, Bishop told Goodman and Harshberger that he would "cause them bodily harm," and "it would be the worst mistake of their lives" if they contacted the sheriff's department.

Bishop left Goodman's apartment and entered the apartment of his girlfriend, Nicole Espinosa, Lawrence said.

Bishop choked Espinosa and threw her to the ground before leaving her apartment, he said.

"I don't think the threats against the friend and the choking of the girlfriend were related," Lawrence said.

During Bishop's attack on Espinosa, deputy Dennis Atkins of the Izard County Sheriff's Department arrived on the scene.

Bishop escaped through a back door in Espinosa's apartment, Atkins said.

Officers apprehended Bishop later that night after he returned to the apartment complex.

He received two additional counts of disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors, after fighting with law officers at the Izard County jail, Lawrence said.

While being booked, officers discovered items that had been stolen from a home building site, which led to the burglary charge, according to Izard County officials.

Bishop posted a $10,000 bond June 16. He is slated to appear in Izard County Circuit Court later this month.

Lawrence said Bishop has a criminal history.

"This isn't his first go-around with the law," he said.



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