Local News

Fayetteville man sentenced in officer shooting case

Posted September 3, 2008

— A Fayetteville man has been sentenced to 21 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal weapons charges in connection with the shooting of a police officer last year.

Steven Craig Bethea, 40, of Dorchester Drive in Fayetteville, was also sentenced on Wednesday to five years of supervised release after his term and was ordered to pay $8,802, according to George E.B. Holding, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina’s.

Bethea pleaded guilty in March to possession of a firearm in a conspiracy to commit robbery and to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Bethea and Robert Hampton Taylor, 52, of Newport Road in Fayetteville, were accused of trying to rob Kato Bingo Hall, on Yadkin Road. Officer Douglas Austin pulled them over in a traffic stop on Jack's Ford Road last March 26, authorities said, and one of the men shot Austin in the chest and beat him before a Fort Bragg soldier who lived nearby heard the commotion and came to Austin's aid.

Austin is the son of Fayetteville City Councilwoman Lois Kirby. His father is a baseball coach at Methodist University.

Taylor pleaded guilty to similar charges in April. He has not been sentenced yet.


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  • Ol Forrester Sep 4, 2008

    What doesn't make sense is convictions on weapons charges but not attempted murder of a police officer. I'm going to have to stop reading these -- it's too discouraging.

  • anonemoose Sep 3, 2008

    Read it again Wanda, made perfect sense to me.

  • give me no quarter Sep 3, 2008

    Poorly written. What man was sentenced to 21 years? Maybe I need to read it again or watch the video. LOL