CLEARFIELD – A Woodland man who was a no-show for his trial on Tuesday was found guilty of a gun charge in Clearfield County Court.
Ralph C. Best, 60, was found guilty of possession of firearm prohibited, a felony of the second-degree, following a trial held in his absentia.
He was also a no-show for sentencing July 27 on misdemeanor assault charges in this case and for jury selection last week in a separate case, resulting in the issuance of two bench warrants.
According to trial testimony, Best showed up – uninvited – at his ex-girlfriend’s Lawrence Township home at approximately 5 a.m. on June 9, 2021.
She said he made accusations of infidelity and also didn’t want her to take a trip with some friends. “I told him he didn’t have control over what I could and couldn’t do.”
She said Best got on top of her, and as he held her down on the bed, he took her gun from its holster on her right hip and put it to her head.
After counting 1, 2, 3, the woman said she heard Best cock the gun before putting it under his chin and threatening to kill her and then himself.
She said she pleaded with Best to give her gun back, and eventually he laid it in her left hand, but there wasn’t much she could do as he was still holding her down.
As they struggled for control of the weapon, she said it discharged and Best grabbed his leg, yelling: “… you [expletive] shot me.” She said he took off before she could find out if he was okay.
The woman said she immediately went to her friend’s home because she thought she shot Best. Her friend took possession of the gun and made a call to police.
Upon arrival on-scene, Officer Zachary Cowan retrieved the North American Arms .22-caliber, five-shot revolver and secured it in his patrol vehicle.
Later the woman said Best called asking her not to report the incident, since the bullet missed hm and he didn’t require any medical attention.
Per court documents, Best is prohibited from possessing or handling a firearm due to his criminal history.
Clearfield County Assistant District Attorney Steve Johnston prosecuted the case on behalf of the commonwealth. Attorney Ryan Dobo of the Public Defender’s office represented Best.