Local News

Man sentenced for firing at girlfriend, pointing gun at police

Posted February 6, 2009 1:17 p.m. EST
Updated February 6, 2009 4:05 p.m. EST

— A federal judge on Friday sentenced a 63-year-old Louisburg man – once convicted of second-degree murder in Virginia – for firing a gun at his girlfriend and pointing the weapon at Raleigh police officers.

Senior U.S. District Judge James C. Fox sentenced Robert Spruce Easley to 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. In August, Easley entered a guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a felon.

Raleigh police officers arrested Easley May 25, 2008, after a domestic disturbance at his girlfriend's house. She called police, saying Easley had threatened to kill her and that he fired a gun at her.

While she was talking to officers, Easley called her cell phone and threatened to kill her and any police officers, prosecutors said. He drove by the house 10 minutes later.

Easley led police on a high-speed chase that ended when he crashed his vehicle. Prosecutors said he got out of the vehicle and pointed a firearm at officers, but they eventually talked him into lowering the weapon and surrendering peacefully.

Investigators said that they found a COP, Inc., .357 revolver and a Browning 9 mm semi-automatic handgun inside Easley's vehicle, along with a Colt MK IV semi-automatic pistol at his house.

Easley was prosecuted under federal law as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, a nationwide initiative by prosecutors and law enforcement to reduce gun- and gang-related crime.

"This case reminds of the wisdom behind the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program. Armed felons pose a real risk to our communities, and we remain dedicated to addressing this threat," U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding said.

Easley was convicted in 1983 of second-degree murder, according to North Carolina Department of Correction records.

He had also been on probation in Wake County in May 2007 for felony possession of cocaine and two counts of driving while impaired.