More than 300 years ago, George Chapman wrote that the law is an ass. This story illustrates his point.
A Florida father of two was given a mandatory 20-year prison sentence for firing a warning shot at some jackhole who threatened his family.
Lee Wollard, 59, was sentenced to prison by a very reluctant judge after a jury found him guilty of aggravated assault, shooting a firearm inside a building, and child endangerment.
Back in 2008, Wollard was awaken from a nap when he heard his 16-year-old daughter fighting with her 17-year-old boyfriend, who also happened to be a homeless boy that the family had allowed to live with them.
Wollard heard a loud crash and loaded his handgun. He went into the room and followed Vice President Joe Biden’s advice about firing a warning shot. The shot hit the wall next to the jackhole, who quickly scurried away.
For that effort, Wollard was later charged with the aforementioned crimes and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
“And I was just like, ‘What?'” Wollard said. “You know, the blood just drained out of my head. I almost passed out.”
Wollard could have avoided this mess by accepting a plea deal that involved probation with no prison time, but he declined. He thought he was innocent.
“It never dawned on me that I would lose, because I hadn’t done anything wrong. I’d protected my family, and I didn’t even hurt anybody. Everything is gone,” he said.
The judge who sentenced him said that he wouldn’t have given the Florida father such a lengthy prison sentence if he hadn’t been required to do so.
“I would not be sentencing you to this term of incarceration, 20 years Florida state prison, if it were not for the fact that I was obligated under my oath as a judge to do so,” the judge told Wollard.
The law is an ass.