Man gets 20 years for firing four shots but missing victim

John Thompson • Nov 28, 2018 at 5:29 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A man who admitted at the time of his arrest that he had shot at his victim four times but missed him was sentenced in Carter County Criminal Court on Wednesday to a 20-year sentence.

Timothy David Stapp, 45, entered guilty pleas on charges of attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping, aggravated burglary, possession of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.

The charges stem from an incident on Mill Creek Road on the morning of May 4, 2017. Carter County deputies responded to a 911 call about an armed man entering a home and holding the resident at gunpoint.

When deputies arrived, they heard two men talking. Then they heard gunshots and retreated to the garage, where the victim came running into the garage. The deputies then saw another man standing in the driveway and holding a gun. Two officers fired shots at the man, but he ran down a bank. Once he was down the bank, another officer fired at him, leading to his surrender. He was identified as Stapp.

Once Stapp was in custody, the officers said, they spoke with the victim, who said Stapp had entered the residence through the garage and held him at gunpoint. The victim said that when Stapp noticed officers were on the scene, he ordered the victim to the back bedroom at gunpoint.

When he saw an opportunity, the victim said, he ran down the hallway while Stapp fired at least four shots at him. The victim then ran out of the residence to the garage, where he encountered the deputies.

Investigators reported Stapp told them that he had waited several hours outside the victim’s home and finally entered the residence when the victim raised the garage door. He said he entered the basement and held the victim at gunpoint. Investigators said Stapp admitted to shooting at the victim and missing him when the victim fled.

Judge Lisa Rice sentenced Stapp to 15 years in prison as a standard offender, meaning he will have to serve at least 30 percent of the sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Rice sentenced Stapp to serve a five-year sentence on the conviction for possession of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony. That sentence will be served consecutively to the attempted first-degree murder charge.

Under state sentencing law, anyone convicted of possession of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony must serve 100 percent of the sentence. Since it is consecutive to the attempted murder charge, Stapp must serve all five years of the possession charge regardless of how much of the attempted-murder charge he serves.

Three other charges were all to be served concurrently with the attempted-murder charge. These included an eight-year sentence on the kidnapping conviction, a six-year sentence on an aggravated burglary charge, and two years on the unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon charge. Thirty to 35 percent of these sentences must be served before he is eligible for probation.

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