WILLISTON, FL –A Marion County man says he intentionally shot at deputies during a standoff Sunday because he was protecting his constitutional right to bear arms.
It happened around noon Sunday at a home on the 17100 block of Northwest 162nd Terrace where 35-year-old Dustin Heathman was staying.
While reading off the list of charges including 10 counts of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer, the judge told Heathman he could be facing life in prison if convicted on those charges.
Wearing an orange jumpsuit at the Marion County Jail, Heathman stood before the judge with a bruised face after the violent standoff with Marion County’s SWAT team.
Deputies said they received a tip from Heathman’s family, saying he was violent and had many weapons with him.
When deputies went to the home with a warrant for his arrest, they said he refused to come out of the house and called in the SWAT team.
Deputies said Heathman shot at an armored vehicle, along with the deputies outside of it. No deputies were injured.
Officials said glass fragments injured Heathman’s face.
“I just want to make sure that none of my Tea Party publications, writings or postings pro-second amendment will be used against me,” Heathman said to the judge. “I think this was what this was all about.”
The second question Heathman asked was directed to Jennifer Brown.
She was with Heathman when the standoff occurred and arrested for stealing a vehicle.
Heathman wanted to know if the dogs he left with her were OK.
The judge ordered Heathman remain behind bars at the Marion County Jail without bond.
He’s scheduled to appear back in court in front of the same judge in August.
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By Natalie Tolomeo