Front Royal man faces three gun-related charges

By Joe Beck

A Front Royal man is facing three misdemeanor gun-related charges in Warren County Circuit Court after having originally been charged with attempted first-degree murder.

Joseph John Andrews Jr., 18, of 735 McGeath Farm Lane, was released on $15,000 secure bail after a grand jury indicted him Sept. 3 on charges of pointing or brandishing a firearm, reckless handling of a firearm and shooting a firearm from a vehicle.

Authorities accuse Andrews of firing six shots at a gathering at the home of John MacDonald at 762 Old Dam Road on May 26.

The prosecution dropped an initial charge of attempted first-degree murder at a preliminary hearing in August. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Layton said changing stories obtained from witnesses and MacDonald caused him to drop the charge.

Andrews’ attorney, Eric Wiseley, said at the hearing that his client was not attempting to kill anybody when he fired six shots into the air.

The criminal complaint in the pending case against Andrews states he had been drinking and got into an argument with MacDonald involving “very foul language.”

“MacDonald stated that Andrews then pulled a gun and pointed it at him and said, ‘I will kill you,'” the complaint states.

Andrews then fired three shots and MacDonald ran through the yard and hid behind a tree, according to the complaint.

MacDonald told investigators he heard three more shots fired as Andrews drove away in a Chevy Blazer, the complaint states.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com