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Officials: Billy Pless runs into woman with motorized wheelchair, charged with habitual assault

A Rowan County man whose criminal record dates to the early 1980s was charged a week ago after being found guilty in court of communicating threats.

Billy Floyd Pless Jr., 62, appeared in court Jan. 8 to face a charge of communicating threats against Karen Hinson. District Court Judge James Randolph found Pless guilty and after court Pless slammed into Hinson with his motorized wheelchair.

Rowan authorities say as Hinson waited to get on the elevator after the case concluded, Pless told her to “get out of my way gal.” The chair left a large bruise on Hinson’s upper leg.

Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Rodney Mahaley charged Pless with assault on a female.

Pless has a long history of assaults and communicating threats to females. He is a common visitor to the courthouse, Rowan officials said.

As a result of this latest incident, investigators with the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division consulted with the Rowan District Attorney’s Office regarding charges. Pless was charged with felony habitual assault based on convictions he received for assault in 2003 and 2013. Pless was arrested and placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond. He has since been released.

His criminal record dates to 1982 when he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in both May and July of that year. In 1983 and 1986, he was convicted of assault on a female. He was convicted in 1992 of trespassing and in 1997 with communicating threats. He’s also been charged with disorderly conduct, habitual misdemeanor assault, and harassing or threatening phone calls. In September 2013, Pless was convicted of assault and battery.

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