The key operational phrase here is “shooting at”. He didn’t shoot him. According to this Vietnam vet with 4 tours of duty he had good reason to believe that the man he shot at was attempting to steal some of his property. He fired one shot, which certainly sounds like a warning shot to me, when cops filming a reality show nearby came running up and doing what has become all too common place with law enforcement in this country, began firing bullets in all directions. To add insult to injury in this case the ‘suspect’ had been jailed numerous times for theft of property but apparently the police believed his claim of just being there to buy lawnmower parts in spite of the riding mower positioned at the rear of his truck for loading.
The 64-year-old Marine Purple Heart recipient could have left jail two weeks ago, but he refused to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, a deal that included 12 months probation with credit for the seven months served. The deal would have let Sturdivant keep his guns – four rifles and a pistol — as well as his military disability benefits, according to the prosecutor.
Fulton County Judge Kelly Lee told Sturdivant it was a good offer because he was looking at as much as 105 years in prison if a jury convicted him of all six felony charges he faces.
The article does not cite what the 6 felony counts he faces are, but since his incarceration his home and business have been repeatedly vandalized and now he has nothing but the $21 another inmate gave him to his name.
UPDATE: 12 NOV 2011 Some bitter sweet news for Mr Sturdivant. The prosecutor has decided to drop all charges, so while he is now a free man he has nothing left of what was his life. He is short one kidney from his wounds, his home and business have burned and looted so he has nothing and save for the few possessions which fit into a paper bag that they returned to him when they showed him the door at the jail he has nothing. Hopefully some veteran’s groups in the area will locate him and pitch in to help him start his life over again.