Wilmington man shot by police gets 20-year sentence
Posted December 10, 2009 4:20 p.m. EST
Wilmington, N.C. — A Wilmington man shot by police during the investigation of an illegal gambling business was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison Thursday.
In April, a federal jury found William Joseph Inman, 39, guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Prosecutors said that police had developed information that Inman ran a gambling operation out of and kept firearms at his pool cleaning and supply business, Two Trees Pools and Spa.
During a Jan. 18, 2008, search of the business, an officer saw Inman pull out a .40-caliber handgun from behind the front desk, prosecutors said. The officer fired twice, striking Inman once in the shoulder. Prosecutors said a loaded, semi-automatic handgun and 10-round magazine were found at his feet.
Officers seized four video poker machines and $4,700 from the business, prosecutors said.
“The facts of this case are a stark reminder of the dangers posed by armed felons in our communities. It is fortunate that the brave officers who investigated this case were not injured when the defendant pulled the handgun on them," U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding said in a statement. "Justice has been served, and we are pleased with the outcome of the sentencing.”
Inman has a lengthy criminal record dating to 1993, with numerous convictions for breaking-and-entering, larceny and other fraud charges, according to state Department of Correction records. He has also been convicted of assault by pointing a gun and assault on a female.