Guy Fires Warning Shot, Gets 20 Years

Newser – by Neal Colgrass

A man who fired a warning shot at his daughter’s troubled boyfriend and told him “the next one’s between your eyes” got 20 years for doing it—and by law has to serve every day of the sentence, CBS News reports. “And I was just like, ‘What?'” says Florida resident Lee Wollard, who insists he was defending his family. “You know, the blood just drained out of my head. I almost passed out.” But the charges against Wollard were serious: child endangerment, aggravated assault, and shooting into a building with a firearm. He was also swept up in a US legal movement known as mandatory minimum sentencing, which appeared in the late 1980s as a way to lock up drug dealers and customers, including first offenders, in America’s “war on drugs.”  

Activists say it has led to prison overcrowding and cases that strike some as extreme—like the music producer with no criminal record who got 55 years for selling marijuana to cops while carrying a firearm, or a 19-year-old in Texas who may face 20 years over a tray of hash brownies. But supporters argue that the threat of harsh sentences enables prosecutors to persuade suspects to plea bargain rather than enter costly, time-consuming trials. The debate is ongoing, as Maine Gov. Paul LePage argues for mandatory sentencing in domestic violence cases, the Bangor Daily News reports, and California quietly nixes a mandatory 90-day jail term for those under the influence of narcotics, theSan Francisco Chronicle reports. Even Florida ended its current penalty for firing warning shots, but too late for Wollard. “Everything, everything is gone,” he says.

3 thoughts on “Guy Fires Warning Shot, Gets 20 Years

  1. He should have killed the boyfriend. He’d have only received 10 years instead of 20. If a person murders someone and admits to it…he/she gets 10 years in prison. If that person murders an animal (see Pasado’s Law in Washington State), then that person gets 20 to life in prison. Equitable? NOT!

  2. “A man who fired a warning shot at his daughter’s troubled boyfriend and told him ‘the next one’s between your eyes’ got 20 years for doing it–”

    Using a crossbow with an infrared scope may have been a better choice… silence is golden. Also have a penlight flashlight and shovel on hand.

    Just a suggestion. 🙂

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