Local News

Man Pleads Guilty in Cop-Shooting Case

Posted March 25, 2008

— Almost a year to the day a Fayetteville police officer was shot during a traffic stop, one of the men charged in the case pleaded guilty to federal weapons charges, authorities said.

Steven Craig Bethea, 40, of Dorchester Drive in Fayetteville, 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.

Bethea and Robert Hampton Taylor, 52, of Newport Road in Fayetteville, have been 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 on 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 faces federal and state charges in the case.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • doubletrouble Mar 25, 2008

    Crazy...I think attempted murder of a police officer would be a more appropriate charge. All these plea deals are killing the general public at large. Reduced sentences, then back on the streets...to actually kill an officer or a bystander. What part don't judges and DA's get?

  • snizzake Mar 25, 2008

    ...by the way, has the Fort Bragg soldier been given some kind of award yet or what?!?! Someone should recognize this man as a local hero, like maybe the officer's mother (being a city councilwoman). we need more guys like this soldier in our communities... he had the nuts to tackle a shooting suspect! how many of you would do what he did? much respect to our military.....

  • GetRight Mar 25, 2008

    I'd like to know a little about the hero-soldier who came to the aid of a cop who was just shot and still being beaten by his shooter. This guy's a hero.

  • snizzake Mar 25, 2008

    uhhhh... dohicky, you need to re-read the article. the officer was shot, but has credited his bulletproof vest with saving his life. however, i think an attempted murder charge (among others) should be enforced to the fullest extent of the law, of course.

  • dohicky Mar 25, 2008

    Don't see any mention of a murder charge. Sure hope one is coming for one or both of these guys.