James Bradley Owens

James Bradley Owens (Source: Henderson County Sheriff's Office)

Henderson County, NC (FOX Carolina) - On Monday, a jury returned three guilty verdicts against 22-year-old James Bradley Owens for assault on a law enforcement officer. That's according to the Office of the District Attorney District 42 in Henderson County. 

Owens was given three consecutive sentences of 24-41 months for each guilty verdict, but was given probation. The district attorney's office says he is serving a six month jail sentence as part of his probation. 

According to the DA, deputies testified that back in August of 2018 they were called to Mills River Community Center after someone called 911 reporting two young men in a pickup truck were firing at deer from the main road. 

When deputies arrived, the responding deputy says he found a truck abandoned with the doors open and headlights on.  Shortly after arriving, and announcing his presence someone fired at the deputy striking just above his head.  As the deputy got in his car and backed up to call for assistance, he said he was shot at two more times. 

After a 20 minute standoff with the suspect who the deputy says emerged from the woods holding a scoped rifle, three other deputies arrived to assist in the arrest of Owens. 

Owens who failed to comply with deputy commands was wrestled to the ground and arrested.

In the process of taking him down, Owens's dog attacked a deputy and was subsequently shot. 

District Attorney Greg Newman said, "The defendant, through his lawyers, wanted to make this case about police brutality.   But 3 shots had been fired and when the other deputies arrived to assist Deputy Goodwin, the belief was that there was a second gunman on top of the hill.  I commend the performance of these sheriff’s deputies and feel that we as a community are lucky to have them serving us in Henderson County.  Anyone in our area that struggles to respect those in authority need to know that you cannot fire upon our law enforcement officials and not be held accountable.  I really appreciate the jury’s verdict in this case”.  

Related: Three arrested, one charged with attempted murder, after firing shots while bear hunting

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