NEWS

Man accused of shooting police officers back in court in Feb.

John Ford

A change of venue hearing for a Neosho man accused of shooting two police officers has been continued.

Adam Bridgewater, 20, will be back in court at 10 a.m. Feb. 5 for the hearing. Judge Gerald McBeth, a Vernon County circuit court judge, will preside in the proceedings, which will be held in Newton County circuit court in Neosho.

Bridgewater is accused of shooting Neosho police Sgt. Dan Cook and Patrolman Mike Sharp during the early morning hours of March 16 after Cook initiated a routine traffic stop to serve warrants in connection with property damage and probation violation.

Bridgewater reportedly fled toward McDonald County, and was allegedly involved in a shooting incident near McNatt with Missouri State Highway Patrolman G.H. Hendrix.

Later, he was reportedly involved in a shoot-out with two McDonald County deputies and rammed their vehicle, then fled on foot.

Bridgewater was captured that afternoon near Stella after an intensive manhunt.

In Newton County, Bridgewater faces four Class A felony charges of first-degree attempted assault on a law enforcement officer and four unclassified felony charges of armed criminal action. He also faces a felony count of first

degree burglary and five felony charges of receiving stolen property. A hearing on these charges has also been set for Feb. 5 in Newton County Circuit Court.

In McDonald County, Bridgewater faces seven felony counts, including two charges of assault on a law enforcement officer, two counts of armed criminal action, a count of resisting arrest and a charge of first-degree property damage. A court date on these charges has not been set.

In February 2006, Bridgewater pleaded guilty to a felony property damage charge in connection with a May 2005 vandalism incident at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.

He was sentenced to four years in prison, but the sentence was suspended and he was given five years supervised probation.

In January 2006, he pleaded guilty to unlawful use of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor. This past April, his probation was revoked and he was ordered to serve the four-year prison stint.

Neosho Daily News