MANCHESTER, N.H. — A city man is facing first-degree assault and other charges for allegedly shooting a man twice in the face.

James Conkle, 30, appeared in Manchester District Court on Monday and is being held on $300,000 bond pending a probable cause hearing next month.

The victim, Casey Margraf, 20, identified Conkle as the shooter as he lay bleeding in the rear driveway of his residence on Valley Street on Saturday night, according to a police report.

He was rushed to the hospital, placed in an induced coma and transported to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. As of Monday evening, Margraf was in serious condition, an upgrade from his initial status of critical.

Margraf told police that he believed he had been shot with a small-caliber handgun, possibly a .22.

The motive for the shooting is unclear, but Margraf told police at the scene that it was related to a fight he had been having with Rosemary Levesque, whom police identify as Conkle’s girlfriend.

Conkle was also charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon. He was convicted in 1996 for receiving stolen property, in 1997 for robbery, and in 1999 for first-degree assault and for possessing a weapon as a felon.

The 1999 charges related to the shooting of Jesse A. Garcia. Conkle had shot Garcia three times with a .32 caliber revolver, while claiming self-defense, saying Garcia had come after him with an aluminum bat. Garcia suffered a collapsed lung, but survived.

Conkle pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and was sentenced to five to 10 years in state prison.

Margraf also has a rap sheet. He was charged in January with robbing a woman outside a Citizens bank, allegedly taking a deposit bag containing more than $2,000 and then destroying the cash to get rid of the evidence.

Police arrested Conkle after Levesque contacted an acquaintance and they discussed a “drug deal,” according to the police report. Conkle used the same phone as Levesque to ask if police were present.

© 2011 The New Hampshire Union Leader

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