North Carolina man sentenced to 10 years in prison for firearm charge

Published 6:13 am Saturday, May 22, 2021

A Johnston County man was sentenced May 20 to 120 months in prison and three years of supervised release for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to a press release from the Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. On October 22, 2020, without a plea agreement, Justin Lynn Chapman pleaded guilty to the indictment which charged conduct that concluded on November 30, 2018.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, on November 30, 2018, troopers with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (SHP) in Raleigh conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a false license plate. The vehicle pulled off to the shoulder of the road, but as the trooper approached the driver, the vehicle drove away.

“The vehicle passed several vehicles in no passing zones, ran numerous stop signs, traveled left of center, and reached speeds of 110 mph. During the pursuit, the passenger, Chapman, partially exited the vehicle’s sunroof with a firearm and fired five shots at the pursuing patrol vehicle,” stated the release. “As the vehicle fled down rural roads, Chapman continued to exit the sunroof and fired an additional nine shots toward the patrol vehicles. The SHP requested assistance from the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office in Smithfield, North Carolina, who deployed stop sticks on the roadway. The fleeing vehicle’s tires were punctured and after a short distance the vehicle came to a stop.”

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Chapman fled the vehicle and was captured after a brief manhunt. “A search of Chapman’s person recovered a 9mm handgun with a 30-round extended magazine,” stated the release. “Chapman was interviewed subsequent to his arrest and admitted to discharging his weapon at the patrol vehicle.”

G. Norman Acker III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms And Explosives investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel W. Smith prosecuted.

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