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Man gets 10 years in shooting at Towne Centre

RELATED: See more crime news from the Fredericksburg region


A former Stafford County resident was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for a shooting in the Spotsylvania Towne Centre parking lot that prosecutors described as a drug deal gone wrong.

Travis Doug Burley, 26, of Richmond, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Richmond on a drug-related firearm conviction stemming from the shooting last July.

In addition to the 10-year prison term, U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney also ordered that Burley be under supervision for two years after his release. He had faced up to life in prison.

On April 25, after a two-day trial, a federal jury in Richmond found Burley guilty of using, carrying, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense.

The Richmond Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation. Burley was originally charged by Spotsylvania authorities, but the county case was dropped and transferred to federal court.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged that a mutual friend brokered a deal for four ounces of high-grade marijuana between Burley and Matthew “Mutt” Johnson of Woodford, who faces a trial Monday in Spotsylvania on a distribution charge stemming from the investigation.

Using text messaging, they agreed to close the deal on the evening of July 11, 2012, outside the Spotsylvania Towne Centre, according to prosecutors. They say that Johnson arrived at the mall parking lot off State Route 3 and stopped near a car with Burley, the friend and a third, unidentified, man inside.

Burley got into Johnson’s car, prosecutors said, and pulled a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun. They said he demanded the marijuana and started punching Johnson.

Johnson, prosecutors said, attempted to grab the semiautomatic weapon, which discharged during the struggle. Burley was hit in the hand and Johnson suffered a calf wound.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419