Jehovah’s Witnesses in Arkansas will soon be called to be witnesses of a different kind for John Baldwin, 35. Baldwin is charged with aggravated assault after firing 13 times at the Jehovah’s Witnesses who approached him in his front yard. After Baldwin told Laura Goforth, 47, and Rachel Boshears, 55, to get off his lawn, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were leaving when one of them heard Baldwin tell his wife “Get me my 9.” (A referenced to his Springfield XDM-9). While Isaiah 43:10 may proclaim “Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen,” these pious folk will soon be called by a more earthly authority to bear witness.
Baldwin only moved into the neighborhood a month ago. The victims were from Kingdom Hall Jehovah’s Witnesses Church in Bentonville. They noted that they have a no contact list but that Baldwin was not on it. He appears to find it easier to express such preferences more directly. They say that Baldwin told them to “Get your fucking ass off my property. I moved out here to get away from people like you.” He reportedly told police that the women did not immediately leave but instead were “Lolly Gaggin” around their car. So how Baldwin then concluded that the best way to stop the “Lolly Gaggin” was with a hail of 9 mm slugs.
The women could also sue for assault in torts. This would seem a pretty clear case of acting “to cause a harmful or offensive contact with the person of the other or a third person, or an imminent apprehension of such a contact.” Then they might end up owning not just the lawn but his house as well.
He could now face jail time after being released on a $50,000 bond. It is not clear if Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to visit prisoners in Arkansas, but one can always hope.