CRAVEN COUNTY - A Craven County man has been sentenced to up to a decade in prison for shooting and injuring three Havelock police officers one year ago.
The jury reached an unanimous verdict at about 12:15 p.m. Wednesday to convict 61-year-old Richard Jules Berry of shooting Lt. Brian Borton, Sgt. James Fahnestock, and Officer Loren Boone of the Havelock Police Department. The shooting happened on Feb 14, 2013.
Berry has been sentenced to between six years and three months to 10 years and six months in prison. He was found guilty of the following charges:
-Assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer and assault with a deadly with intent to kill (for shooting Lt. Borton).
-Assault with deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and assault with deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer (for shooting Sgt. James Fahnestock).
-Assault with deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer (for shooting Officer Loren Boone).
Police said it all started just after noon on Feb. 14, when they received a call from Berry's home on Webb Boulevard. The caller stated that Berry was armed with a handgun and was threatening to harm himself, according to investigators.
The three responding officers -Borton, Fahnestock and Boone- entered Berry's residence. But Berry continued his threats, said investigators. When the officers moved to subdue and disarm Berry, he fired his gun, hitting each officer in the hand.
Sgt. Fahnestock underwent extensive surgery at CarolinaEast Medical Center to restore function of his hand, said authorities. Borton and Boone were treated and released.
Havelock Police Capt. David Bratton said it was the first time the city's officers had been shot since at least 1983, when Bratton joined the department.
The man accused of shooting and injuring three Havelock police officers Thursday appeared before a judge Friday morning.
Richard Berry, 60, has been charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, said District Attorney Scott Thomas.
During Friday's hearing, Berry asked to represent himself. Berry claimed he didn't understand his charges, but he was aware of the allegations against him. He was then sent to the N.C. Department of Correction Medical Unit in Raleigh.
According to investigators, Berry shot Lt. Brian Borton, Sgt. Jim Fahnestock and Officer Loren Boone Thursday afternoon. Fahnestock underwent surgery for injuries sustained on his hand at CarolinaEast Medical Center and was listed in good condition. Borton and Boone were treated and released.
According to Diane Miller with the City of Havelock, Lt. Borton returned to duty Friday and Officer Boone will likely return to duty the following week.
Police said Berry shot the three officers after they arrived at his home on Webb Boulevard at about 12:20 p.m. Thursday. A woman inside the residence had called 911 and reported gunshots. According to investigators, Berry was threatening to harm himself.
Once the officers arrived, they heard a gunshot and entered the building, investigators said. That was when Berry confined himself into a bedroom. Another gunshot was heard before officers entered the bedroom and took Berry into custody, investigators said.
Police said they were unsure if Berry intentionally shot and injured the three officers. The suspect was not shot, but was still taken to CarolinaEast Medical Center, investigators said.
Havelock Police Capt. David Bratton said this incident was the first time the city's officers had been shot since at least 1983, when Bratton joined the department.
The three officers shot -Lt. Borton, Sgt. Fahnestock and Officer Boone- have been with the Havelock Police Department for 15, seven and two years respectively.
The shooting took place about a half-mile from Havelock High School. The State Bureau of Investigation was at the scene to investigate.