LIMA — A Lima man who police say placed a semi-automatic handgun in the mouth of his live-in girlfriend earlier this year and later fired shots at her through a closed door pleaded not guilty Friday to charges handed down by the recent session of an Allen County grand jury.
John Sanders, 41, is charged with felonious assault with a firearm specification, a second-degree felony, and a first-degree felony count of kidnapping, also with a firearm specification. He was arraigned Friday in Allen County Common Pleas Court.
Court records show that on Sept. 22, police were called to the 400 block of South Collett Street in Lima in reference to a domestic situation. Police learned that Sanders had been involved in a dispute with his girlfriend and had initially threatened to strike her with a club and later obtained the handgun. Police say the Lima man pointed the gun at his girlfriend and twice pulled the trigger, although the gun was not loaded.
Sanders forced the victim into a bedroom, court records show, and continued to threaten her. He left the room but returned with a gun, this time believed to be loaded, and placed the gun in the woman’s mouth before telling her to leave the residence. The woman went outside but realized her medications remained in the home. She began to pound on the locked front door when Sanders reportedly fired two shots through the door, just missing the woman.
Neighbors called police, and Sanders fled the scene. Investigators found two spent 9mm shell casings and two bullet holes in the front door, supporting the victim’s allegations and prompting Sanders’ arrest.
He is being held in the Allen County jail under $250,000 bond.