The police account of a recent shooting is being disputed by the sister of a woman who was shot. According to police, officers were responding to a call at a local residence when one officer fired seven shots because the woman "began to raise the weapon toward the officers." Police say the woman was hit one time in the chest.
However, the woman's sister claims that police fired 16 shots while the woman's back was turned, causing injuries that left her paralyzed. The injured woman is reportedly an accountant and the wife of a St. Louis sheriff's lieutenant, and the sister says the woman was trying to fend off an intruder at her brother's residence shortly before the shooting occurred.
Now the injured woman is charged with armed criminal action and second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer. If convicted of either offense, she could face very serious penalties.
An article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has more on the conflicting reports of the shooting.
Under Missouri law, if a person commits a felony while using a "dangerous instrument or deadly weapon," then he or she can be charged with armed criminal action. This charge is typically in addition to an underlying charge, which in this case is second-degree assault on a police officer.
A first-time conviction for armed criminal action carries a minimum prison sentence of three years with no parole eligibility for three years. Being convicted a second time for armed criminal action carries a minimum five-year prison sentence, and a third conviction carries a minimum 10-year sentence.
If you are accused of armed criminal action or any other weapons offense, it is crucial that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer with experience in handling these kinds of cases. A defense attorney can fight to protect your rights and help you explore every available defense option.