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Caroline man facing 28 years in shooting

Wayne Harris

Wayne Harris

A Caroline County man could receive up to 28 years in prison for shooting a man he’s had an ongoing feud with outside a convenience store in Dawn.

Circuit Court Judge Patricia Kelley ruled Thursday that although 58-year-old Wayne “Chico” Harris testified that he was in fear of his life, he did not have the right to shoot Larry Jackson and claim self-defense.

Kelly said defense attorney David Whaley “failed to establish reasonable belief of imminent harm.”

Harris was convicted of malicious wounding, possession of a firearm as a convicted felon and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

The shooting occurred about 6 p.m. June 24 at the Dawn Convenience Store on U.S. 301 in the southern part of Caroline.

Both Jackson, 39, and Harris testified that Harris pulled up next to Jackson while he was parked at the convenience store and had a brief conversation before Harris shot him in the chest with a .38 revolver while they were both still sitting in their vehicles.

The bullet went through Jackson’s chest and came out near his arm, but no vital organs were struck. He has fully recovered.

A few weeks before this incident, Harris testified, he told Jackson to leave his house and not to come back. He described Jackson as “a bully” and said that he “didn’t know how to act.”

Three days later, he said, Jackson came back to his house, but he wouldn’t let him in. Harris testified that within an hour, Jackson shot at his house and shot out the back of his car window with either a shotgun or pellet gun.

Harris said Jackson told him if he called the police he would kill him.

“Larry is a dangerous guy, he’s crazy,” Harris told the judge, adding that he bought a gun for protection.

Harris testified that when he saw Jackson at the store, he stopped his car to try to make peace with him and ask him to pay for his car window. Instead, he said Jackson threatened him and reached for what he thought was a gun. Police did not find a gun in Jackson’s possession that day.

According to Jackson, Harris asked him about the window and then pulled out the gun, shot him and drove away.

Judge Kelly said she had a hard time deciding who to believe because both men are convicted felons. Harris described himself to police when he was arrested as a crack cocaine addict, and Jackson admitted to lying under oath in a previous court case that involved Harris.

“I lied under oath. I was wrong,” Jackson said. “He had the right to do what he did to me [that time] and I wasn’t going to let him go to jail.”

But he said this time was different and the judge agreed—mainly because Harris went to Jackson at the store with a gun. She said if he was in fear of his life, he could have kept on going.

Caroline Commonwealth’s Attorney Tony Spencer said Harris will serve at least three years and up to 28 years in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 26.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419