Hearing

Michael Vaughan, 60, of Chatham was in Pittsylvania County General District Court Wednesday, Oct. 1 for a preliminary hearing. The case was certified to a grand jury. 

After testifying before Pittsylvania County General District Court Judge George Jones Tuesday, Oct. 1, Eric Clay collapsed in the court vestibule. 

Clay testified about the early morning of Aug. 11, 2019 when he was allegedly shot in the face by Michael Vaughan, 60, of Chatham.

Vaughan was charged with malicious wounding following the incident. 

According to testimony, Clay and Vaughan left the home of Clay’s cousin in Sandy Level around 1 a.m. on Aug. 11. 

On their way back toward Gretna, Clay testified he and Vaughan stopped to check out a potential spot to fish. 

When the two men left in Clay’s 1999 Chevrolet Blazer, Clay testified as he approached Gretna on East Gretna Road, Vaughan asked him to slow down. 

“There was a flash… I don’t remember much past that,” Clay testified. “I saw a flash and there was a boom.”

Clay pointed out on his face the location a bullet entered on the right side. 

After being shot, Clay testified he stopped the Blazer on East Gretna Road and laid in the roadway. 

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Officer Eric Dotterer testified he responded to the scene and found pools of blood in the roadway. 

“There was a strong smell of alcohol,” Dotterer testified. 

Clay told the court he had two shots of whiskey that night and smoked some ‘CBD marijuana.’

Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Rick Baxter testified he recovered a spent .22 casing from the Blazer, and a handgun with one round in the chamber and six in the magazine. 

Two cell phones were also recovered from the Blazer. 

Judge Jones certified the charges to the grand jury. 

Vaughan remains free on bond. 

Clay was okay after collapsing and described by officers who rushed to his aide as overwhelmed by the testimony. 

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