Farmer who shot girlfriend gets 25-year term

Judge notes man paused to reload during crime

January 07, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A 54-year-old Clarksville man convicted of using a shotgun to shoot his girlfriend in the arm and stomach during a dispute in December 1999 was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in prison.

A Howard County jury convicted William Edward Lee in September of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and related charges in an attack against Marcia Minor. Yesterday, Circuit Court Judge Raymond J. Kane Jr. noted that the gun used - an old single-shot shotgun - meant that Lee had to reload once because two shots were fired.

He called the case "egregious."

The shooting was the culmination of an argument between Lee and Minor that had started at a bar the night before, prosecutor Jeannie Cho said. The argument continued when the couple, who lived on a farm on Sheppard Lane, got home. Minor later left to use the phone because their home had none, Cho said, and stayed with a girlfriend for the night.

After she returned the next day, the two argued in the bedroom. Then Lee got his shotgun out of his truck, they argued and the gun went off, the prosecutor said.

Minor went into the kitchen, Lee followed and shot at her, hitting her in the arm and stomach, Cho said.

During yesterday's hearing, Lee's public defender, Debra A. Michael, noted that her client was drunk at the time of the shooting. He is a lifelong farmer who grew up poor but has always worked hard, she said.

Before sentencing, Lee apologized.

"I loved that woman," he said. "I will always love her until the day I die."

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