Officer's attacker sentenced

April 20, 1994|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Sun Staff Writer

A man who was shot six times after attacking a Howard County patrolman with the officer's pepper Mace while high on PCP last spring was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison yesterday.

David Scott Shipley, 25, of Baltimore was given the sentence in Howard Circuit Court after entering into a plea agreement for a battery charge in December.

During yesterday's hearing, Shipley apologized to Officer Patrick McDonald for the April 29, 1993, incident at the Columbia Junction shopping center in Jessup, calling it a "foolish and immature act."

Shipley, who has no recollection of the incident, asked Judge Cornelius Sybert Jr. for a lenient sentence that would give him the chance to get his life on track. His attorney suggested a sentence of one year in prison with drug therapy and work release.

"I would like a new chance at life," said Shipley, who is married and has three children. "I almost lost it because of drugs."

But Judge Sybert said he could not give Shipley a lenient sentence, noting that he has two prior convictions for PCP possession and another conviction for breaking and entering.

The judge sentenced Shipley to 12 years in prison, with all but 7 1/2 years of the term suspended. Shipley also must complete five years of probation that includes counseling and drug testing.

Judge Sybert warned Shipley that if he does not meet the terms of the probation he will have to serve the remaining 4 1/2 years of his prison sentence.

Shipley could have been sentenced to nine years in prison under the terms of his plea agreement. Battery carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

In the incident, Officer McDonald was called to a flower shop at Columbia Junction to answer a complaint that Shipley had stolen medication from an employee.

Officer McDonald, realizing that Shipley might be under the influence of PCP, escorted Shipley from the shop and began questioning him. Shipley fled when Officer McDonald went to inspect a pickup truck he was driving after a bystander informed him that the vehicle may have been stolen.

The patrolman caught Shipley behind the shopping center, where a fight started in which the defendant tried to get Officer McDonald's gun.

Both men fell to the ground and Shipley struck the Officer McDonald several times in his face as he lay on top of the patrolman. He also struck the officer with an ammunition clip he grabbed from the officer's belt.

Then, Shipley grabbed Officer McDonald's can of pepper Mace and sprayed the patrolman, temporarily blinding him.

The officer stood up, drew his service weapon and fired at Shipley when the defendant refused to heed his warnings and continued to spray the patrolman.

Officer McDonald, who is now a detective handling fraud and investment cases, told Judge Sybert that he had to seek counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder because of the incident.

He said he has suffered flashbacks of the shooting, but he said he only remembers firing one bullet.

"I remember lying there and him trying to pull out my gun and thinking, 'This is it,' " Officer McDonald said. "Frankly, I think I would have died that day."

Deputy Public Defender Louis Willemin said the injuries to Shipley's arms, legs, abdomen and chest are enough punishment for the incident.

Mr. Willemin said Shipley needs drug therapy during his incarceration, instead of after his release.

Mr. Willemin noted that Shipley was given therapy as part of his probation in another case, but that he failed the program.

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