A 30-year-old Fall River man who shot at and tried to kill his girlfriend, her father and the father’s dog two-and-a-half years ago was sentenced on Friday to serve five to eight years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
According to Gregg Miliote of the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, Justin Denny originally pleaded guilty then withdrew his plea which was admitted with ineffective assistance of counsel, to indictments charging him with two counts of assault with intent to kill, two counts of attempted assault and battery by use of a firearm, carrying an illegal firearm, carrying a loaded illegal firearm, assault and battery on a family or household member and two counts of violating a restraining order.
On April 18, 2017, Fall River Police Officers responded to the 300 block of Cambridge Street for a report of shots fired. A short distance away, officers located the defendant’s girlfriend and her father standing near the father’s vehicle. Crime Scene Detectives documented that a projectile entered the rear window glass, traveled through the rear passenger headrest, then entered into the front passenger headrest. The projectile itself was also recovered by police.
The female victim reported to police that she had a verbal altercation with the defendant and that the argument escalated to the point where the defendant pushed her and knocked her down. The female victim called her father to get herself out of the volatile situation, and away from the home. However, the defendant told her that if she left that he would get his gun and shoot her father. At that time, the female victim knew the defendant unlawfully possessed a revolver.
When her father arrived, she brought her belongings to her father’s car and got into the front passenger seat before then moving into the backseat to try to calm her father’s dog. At this time, the defendant approached them with his hand behind his back. The defendant then ran across his driveway chasing after the car. While on the sidewalk, the defendant raised his right hand and fired a gunshot into the car, narrowly missing the two victims and the dog. After the gunshot, the female victim and her father drove a few blocks away to call 911. When officers went to the house, the defendant was not home. Officers called his cell phone and attempted to get him to turn himself in, which he did not.
Officers obtained a search warrant for the home and recovered surveillance video that captured the incident, as well as 26 rounds of 7.62 ammunition, and a holster. Attorney Ken Fredette later led Raynham Police to a location where they recovered a Nagant seven (7) round revolver that fires 7.62 cartridges, along with six live rounds of 7.62 ammunition. While the defendant was held in jail on these charges, he used his mother to contact the female victim in an effort in to get her to drop the restraining order she had against him.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michael Cahillane and the five to eight year state prison term was imposed by Fall River Superior Court Judge William Sullivan. The defendant was also placed on probation for an additional three years.
“This is extremely violent and dangerous conduct, that could have resulted in death or serious injury to both victims and the dog,” District Attorney Quinn said. “This is simply lawless behavior on the part of the defendant, who clearly needed to be locked up for a long time.”