DEER CREEK TOWNSHIP – Charges against a Deer Creek Township man accused of firing a gun into his tenant’s home over an electric bill dispute advance to Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

Ralph Eugene Bailly, 55, is charged by state police with aggravated assault, discharging a firearm into an occupied structure, carrying a firearm without a license, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person.

The charges were held for trial in Mercer County Court after a preliminary hearing Oct. 3 before District Judge D. Neil McEwen.

Bailly’s Common Pleas arraignment is set for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 4 with Judge Daniel P. Wallace.

According to the criminal complaint:

Bailly owns a rental property – a trailer – on Sunol Road in Deer Creek Township. His tenant said that there had been a dispute on Aug. 3 over an electric bill.

Around 1 a.m., the tenant’s was awakened by his dog as a truck approached the trailer. The man looked out the window, then saw three gunshots come from the vehicle.

The bullets hit the trailer, and the truck backed up and entered a nearby driveway that leads to Bailly’s home.

Police counted nine bullet holes on the side of the trailer, and some of them hit an inside wall close to where the tenant had been sleeping.

Police spoke with an acquaintance of both men who said that Bailly told him about an issue with his tenant regarding the electric bill but said Bailly didn’t seem to be upset.

Police went to Bailly’s home for an interview, and he refused to answer the door or phone, even though he appeared to be at home. He was interviewed later Aug. 3 at the police station.

Bailly said he was having problems with his tenant, whom he confronted about an electric bill. There was a “heated argument.”

The acquaintance told Bailly that the tenant said he wanted to beat Bailly with a baseball bat.

Bailly admitted to be being heavily intoxicated the previous night, and he couldn’t remember visiting the trailer.

He left home with a handgun and hid behind the residence while police were knocking on his door. He could not explain why he hid other than thinking that the person knocking was someone who had a problem with him in the past.

He said that if bullets were recovered from the trailer, they would likely match his .22 caliber pistol, which he had at home.

Bailly said he “would likely test positive” for gunshot residue because he had handled his gun that morning, but he hadn’t fired a gun for about two months.

Police again questioned the shooting, and Bailly said he was the likely suspect, but he could not remember what happened because he had been drinking vodka, and he couldn’t imagine himself “doing something like this.”

Several hours later, Bailly contacted police and said he had lied about his pistol, which he hid in a garage down the road.

Police seized Bailly’s truck, and he admitted that there was a shotgun hidden in the vehicle that he had not disclosed.

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