Local News

Man pleads guilty to gun charges in cop's shooting

Posted April 22, 2008
Updated September 3, 2008

— A Fayetteville man has pleaded guilty to federal weapons charges in connection with the shooting of a police officer last year, authorities said.

Robert Hampton Taylor, 52, of Newport Road, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in a conspiracy to commit robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He will be sentenced later.

Taylor and Steven Craig Bethea, 40, of Dorchester Drive in Fayetteville, have been accused of trying to rob Kato Bingo Hall, on Yadkin Road, on March 26, 2007. Fayetteville Officer Douglas Austin pulled them over in a traffic stop on Jack's Ford Road, authorities said, and one of the men shot Austin in the chest and beat on him before a Fort Bragg soldier who lived nearby heard the commotion and came to Austin's aid.

Bethea pleaded guilty to similar charges in the case last month. He hasn't been sentenced yet.

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


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  • Glenn Miller Apr 22, 2008

    OK, I stand corrected (or informed). According to a previous story, the shooter still faces the attempted murder charges in NC. This story should have stated so.

  • Glenn Miller Apr 22, 2008

    Nice..what about the charges of actually shooting the Officer? I hope that they didn't offer these losers a plea where they dropped the AWDWIK charges in exchange for the federal gun charges. To me, this demonstrates the value that the court system puts on the lives of our Law Enforcement Officers...NOTHING. It is a crying shame.