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Man shot in Arlington Valley Mobile Home Park dispute arrested, appears in court



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The Monroe County Justice Building, also called Zietlow Justice Center, is located at 301 N. College Ave.  Matt Begala Buy Photos

A man shot twice during a dispute Sunday night pleaded not guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. 

Joshua R. Vestal, 35, was arrested Monday following a shooting at an Arlington Valley Mobile Home Park in Bloomington. Court records list his address at the mobile home park. 

Vestal suffered a bullet graze wound to the chest and a gunshot wound near his left thumb, according to court documents. In the courtroom Wednesday, he dangled his wounded left hand wrapped in a black cast by his head as he spoke to the judge. 

A judge issued an arrest warrant for the 39-year-old man suspected of shooting Vestal. 

Vestal is in a relationship with a woman whom the suspect is divorcing, according to court documents. She told police the 39-year-old is upset she is staying at the home, and that he has allegedly been stalking her in the couple of months since the two separated.  

The suspect showed up to the home Sunday, and Vestal told police he broke in through the door and started shooting. 

Vestal fled to the bathroom. Another woman in the home, Stephanie Bruce, 37, hid under a table. Vestal's partner told police she was hiding in a bedroom. 

Police arrived and later found .22 caliber and 9mm shell casings. A 9mm handgun was found in the bathroom toilet tank, according to court documents. 

Vestal was taken to the hospital then interviewed by police. A bullet was lodged in his wrist. 

The two women were brought to the Bloomington Police Department to be interviewed. Police said Bruce gave several inconsistent statements and denied knowing that Vestal had a gun.

In a follow-up interview, police said Bruce allegedly admitted to talking with Vestal about lying to the police to keep him from getting in trouble. Bruce was then arrested on a preliminary charge of obstruction of justice. 

Vestal is scheduled to appear back in court Sept. 11 for a pretrial hearing. He has a previous conviction of burglary, as well as preliminary charges pending against him that include driving while intoxicated, driving on a suspended license and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. 

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