STOCKTON — Wearing a faded yellow T-shirt and pants, 21-year-old Hunter Bishop pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Rooks County District Court to a pair of felony charges stemming from an early June shooting and attempted robbery.
He entered the plea before District Judge Glenn Braun, who moments earlier had denied a request to reduce his bond from $100,000 initially established.
Bishop is charged with aggravated battery and attempted aggravated robbery, both felonies. He remains in the Rooks County jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.
The charges against the former Plainville man stem from the attempted robbery at the Plainville Short Stop convenience store on U.S. Highway 183.
During the incident, store clerk Michael Downing was shot in the leg after he reached for the handgun being brandished by a would-be robber.
The affidavit filed in the case alleges Bishop stepped back when Downing reached for the gun, and then Downing dove for cover behind the counter at the store.
The bullet struck Downing in the leg and then exited, lodging in the wall. The bullet was recovered by authorities.
Bishop’s court-appointed attorney, Paul Oller, asked for the bond reduction, suggesting he wasn’t a flight risk nor a danger to the community — two elements that are key when setting bond.
Oller said Bishop has family in the area, and a relative sat in the first row of the courtroom.
Rooks County Attorney Ed Hageman opposed the reduction, after first confirming for Braun that Bishop had been arrested in Arkansas.
Although Hageman said he didn’t know Bishop’s criminal background, he said there’s a possibility another charge might be filed against him, a charge of burglary.
Hageman didn’t point to the burglary of a Pizza Hut in Plainville, but the affidavit supporting the filing of charges in the attempted robbery detailed Bishop’s possible connection.
The affidavit said Bishop’s former girlfriend told agents for both the FBI and KBI that Bishop had told her he shot the convenience store clerk during an attempted robbery. He later said he also had burglarized the Pizza Hut, but didn’t find any money.
No charges have been filed in connection with the burglary.
Braun said Bishop’s age and arrest in Arkansas, as well as the nature of the crime, supports the bond.
“The court finds the bond of $100,000 is more than reasonable,” Braun said.
Braun asked if Bishop wanted the charges read to him for arraignment.
“I believe I know what I’m being charged with, and I’m going to go ahead,” Bishop said looking to Oller, “and waive it.”
He then pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Attorneys told Braun the trial likely would take two to three days to conduct.
“This crime got some media attention,” Braun ultimately said. “So let’s go ahead and schedule it for four days.”
The trial date was not immediately set.