Baxter County Circuit Court Judge John Putman declined a plea bargain Thursday in an attempted murder case, calling the sentence “too light,” telling the attorneys more work needed to be done.
The attorneys hammered out a different deal and 27-year-old Justin Lee Thompson of Gassville entered a guilty plea to criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder. Putman sentenced Thompson to 20 years in prison.
The original plea agreement called for Thompson to serve 15 years in prison, a sentence the judge indicated he felt was too lenient given the facts of the case.
Thompson’s mother, Melissa Glaze, faces a charge of furnishing a firearm to a convicted felon for selling her son the pistol he used. She is currently set for a January trial, according to electronic jail records.
On the day of the shooting, April 29 of this year, Gassville police were called to 137 Tallwood Lane where Thompson, Glaze and the accuser, Sarah Orms, all lived, for a reported shooting.
Upon arriving, police were told by Thompson and a female witness said that Orms had shot herself in the chest with a pistol. When the officer asked where the gun was, Thompson reportedly took the officer to a pile of rubbish and told him the gun was under the trash.
The officer asked why the gun had been hidden and Thompson reportedly replied that he was on probation. He further stated the gun belonged to his mother, according to the affidavit filed in his attempted murder case.
When the officer asked the female witness, she told the officer Thompson had bought the gun from his mother.
Orms was transported to the hospital and could not be questioned about the shooting on the day it happened. The next day, after waking up from surgery, Orms reportedly told medical personnel a very different story of how the shooting occurred.
Hospital personnel called the Gassville police and told them Orms woke up and said her boyfriend, Thompson, had shot her.
Armed with the new information, investigators spoke with the female witness again. They told her Orms had woken up and was telling a different story. The female witness then changed her version.
The woman told police Thompson and Orms were arguing, they became involved in a shoving match and then Thompson shot Orms. The woman told police Thompson would not allow her to call for help for Orms until the woman agreed to say Orms shot herself on accident.
Orms told police Thompson pulled the gun from his pocket and shot her. She said she thought it may have been an accident, however, authorities could see for themselves as the home’s surveillance system should have recorded the event.
With Orms and the female witness stating Thompson shot Orms, officers went to the Baxter County Detention Center and interviewed Thompson, again. This time, after being read his rights, Thompson’s story was different.
This time, according to the affidavit, Thompson admitted to shooting Orms. However, Thompson told police he “didn’t mean” to shoot Orms and that the shooting was accidental.
When asked about about the home surveillance system capturing the shooting, Thompson reportedly said he “didn’t think” the system was recording at the time of the event.
Thompson told officers he deleted everything the system recorded, according to the affidavit.
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