GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — A man who fired shots into a Gaston County police officer’s home in September pleaded guilty in court Monday, and his bizarre demeanor puzzled the judge.
"Are you now under the influence of any drugs, alcohol, pills, medication, narcotics?" the judge asked Bradley Mellon.
“I wish, but no, sir,” Mellon said as he continued grinning.
The judge had to remind Mellon that it was a serious situation.
Mellon's attitude went from joking about legal questions to cursing as he left the courtroom. Mellon acted like he was listening to music and often turned to talk to his crying sister.
"Mr. Mellon, you need to get a, we need to lock down here and you need to look at me," the judge said.
Mellon joked when the judge asked questions to make sure he was sober and of sound mind.
The district attorney said that last year Mellon was angry that a female officer was about to arrest a friend for theft.
He said Mellon admitted he drove by the officer's Cherryville house as she got home from a 12-hour shift and fired shots at it. One narrowly missed her infant child by inches.
Police captured Mellon days later, after a chase through Cleveland and Lincoln counties.
They said he had drugs and guns on him.
The district attorney offered to drop the attempted murder charge to give Mellon a minimum 8-year sentence for all other charges if he took the deal.
He accepted reluctantly.
"It's hard to sign eight to 10 years of your life away,” Mellon said. “Ain't nobody get hit and y'all let murderers go eight to 10. Ten years. But it’s cool. I can dig it."
He said nothing about the officer and her children, who could have been seriously hurt.
The DA said that if Mellon rejected the plea, then he would have let Lincoln and Cleveland counties try Mellon on gun and drugs charges. He would have charged Mellon once his criminal history was padded with new convictions, adding more time to his sentence.
He could have faced an additional three to five years in prison.
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