COLUMBIA, South Carolina (WJBF) — The two men who shot towards the police have collectively been sentenced to nearly 15 years in federal prison.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Phillip Michael King, 27, of Barnwell, SC, and Anthony Lafayette Legette, 37, of Columbia, SC, pled guilty to federal firearms violations.
According to authorities, King pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, which is his second such conviction in federal court.
The press release states:
The evidence presented in court showed that on September 22, 2018, an officer with the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety attempted a traffic stop near downtown Orangeburg because the vehicle was reported as stolen. The vehicle failed to stop for blue lights, sirens, or marked patrol cars, and took the police on a car chase through the city. King leaned out of the rear passenger window during the pursuit and discharged two rounds from a pistol in the direction of the police car behind him. The vehicles came to a stop and King fled on foot. A loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol was recovered in the path of King’s flight on foot. King later confessed to the shooting and to hoping that during it he would be shot and killed by the police. Shell casings collected from the area of the shooting were forensically matched by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to the firearm recovered, and ATF determined the firearm was stolen.
According to authorities, Legette also pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
The press release also states:
Evidence presented in court showed that on November 3, 2017, Legette was driving under the influence when he was in a car accident with an off-duty Columbia Police Department officer near downtown Columbia. When the vehicles came to a stop, the off-duty officer approached Legette, identified himself as an officer with the Columbia Police Department, and showed his law enforcement credentials. Legette then failed to follow commands and appeared to reach for a firearm. The off-duty officer brandished his service weapon, and Legette fled the scene in his vehicle to an apartment complex in Columbia. Legette walked inside, retrieved a pistol, told a resident that an officer was following him, came outside and announced, “there goes that [explicative] right there.” Legette pointed his firearm in the air in the direction of the officer and discharged one round. Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for the residence, recovered a loaded Cobra Industries, .38 caliber Derringer pistol with one spent casing inside the revolver. Legette later admitted to the shooting.
“As recent events in our state have shown us, law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe,” says U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis. “We will not tolerate violence against the police in South Carolina, and I want to thank the law enforcement agencies that responded and prioritized these cases.”
“Violent individuals in possession of firearms illegally are a threat to our communities and a threat to the brave men and women working to keep our streets safe,” says Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Acting Special Agent in Charge Brian Mein. “ATF is proud to join our local, state, and federal partners in bringing these individuals to justice.”
“These cases are examples of how local law enforcement work in partnership with our federal law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney to arrest and prosecute prolific violent offenders,” says Columbia Chief of Police W. H. Holbrook. “Cases like these remove the ‘trigger pullers’ from neighborhoods in our cities.”
According to the press release, Senior United States District Court Judge Terry L. Wooten sentenced King to a total of 114 months in federal prison while Senior United States District Court Judge Cameron McGowan Currie sentenced Legette to 63 months in federal prison, and both sentences will be followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision with no parole.