A plea agreement was made in an arson case at the Lafayette County Courthouse, Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Shawn Francis McQuaid, 33 of Darlington, pled guilty to arson of property other than building, a Class I felony punishable by up to 3 ½ years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, and disorderly conduct, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
The other two charges—computer message threaten/obscenity, a Class B misdemeanor, and stalking, a Class I felony—were dismissed as part of a plea bargain.
McQuaid’s case was scheduled to be heard by a jury on Sept. 28-30. That trial is now cancelled.
Green County Judge Thomas Vale, presiding over the case, requested McQuaid have a pre-sentencing investigation performed before the sentencing hearing on Dec. 14 at 1:30 p.m. Green County District Attorney Gary Luhman requested that sealed documents concerning this case that were prepared for the trial be used in the pre-sentencing investigation.
According to the criminal complaint, McQuaid was arrested on Dec. 24 in Grant County after a series of events taking place in Darlington that same day. McQuaid was in an altercation at Trailside Bar in the early morning hours of Dec. 24 where he reportedly verbally threatened the life of another man. After the victim left the bar, McQuaid sent several threatening text messages to the same man. At approximately 3 a.m. McQuaid was reportedly seen fleeing the scene of a car that was lit on fire in an alley along Main Street. The car belonged to the same victim who received the threatening messages. The fire also damaged another nearby vehicle. McQuaid then made suicidal threats and fled the county to a family-owned property in the Cassville area. At approximately 7 a.m. McQuaid turned himself in to Grant County authorities. In McQuaid’s vehicle law enforcement discovered two loaded, uncased guns. McQuaid was transported to Mendota Mental Health Institute.
McQuaid pled not guilty to all four counts and then on June 15 he changed his plea for all four charges to not guilty due to mental disease or defect. On Sept. 21 McQuaid was at the Lafayette County Courthouse for a motion hearing where he pled guilty to two of the four charges and the other two charges were dismissed.