The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Roger Earl Davis
Friday, October 18, 2013
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
A Redwood man was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday in Franklin County Circuit Court for shooting a rifle at two deputies on March 31 near his home.
Roger Earl Davis, 68, pleaded guilty in August to two counts of attempted malicious wounding, possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony, felony destruction of property, reckless handling of a firearm and misdemeanor property damage.
In addition his prison sentence, Davis must pay restitution for a Kubota tractor, which is estimated to have a value of about $11,000.
Davis was initially charged with two counts of attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, but those charges were reduced to attempted malicious wounding by the prosecution in June before the charges were presented to a grand jury.
During Davis' preliminary hearing in May, Franklin County Deputy J.D. Hylton testified that he and Deputy C.T. Mayo responded to a call on Meadow Farm Lane in Redwood on March 31.
A neighbor, who also testified at the preliminary hearing, said Davis was "sliding" around in his yard and had struck an outbuilding with his vehicle. Later, the neighbor said he heard "shots" nearby and decided to call the police.
After the uniformed deputies arrived, they saw a man matching the suspect's description in a nearby field, carrying a gas can and a rifle, Hylton testified.
At one point, the suspect dropped the gas can and continued walking toward the deputies, Hylton said.
The deputies commanded the suspect, whom Hylton identified as Davis in the courtroom, to drop the firearm.
"At that point, the suspect leveled the rifle and pulled the trigger," Hylton said.
The single shot was fired in the direction of the deputies from about 35 yards away, Hylton said.
Hylton and Mayo flanked Davis, approaching from both sides with their weapons drawn on the suspect, he said. Davis lowered the barrel of the rifle and eventually dropped the gun.
After Davis was apprehended, Hylton testified that he noticed smoke about 50 yards away, which was billowing from a burning tractor.
The tractor belonged to another neighbor, Allen said, and cost more than $1,000, which led to the felony property damage charge.
The gas can and the .22 caliber rifle were recovered from the field as evidence, along with a .22 caliber slug, Hylton said.