James C. Tate Jr. gets prison term for near-fatal shooting



A man who attacked and shot his girlfriend was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison.

James C. Tate Jr., 32, will have an additional five years to serve on probation after he completes the prison term under the plea agreement worked out in Richmond County Superior Court.

Assistant District Attorney Amanda Heath said that on Aug. 7, Tate attacked Bertha Lopez, punching and choking her. He then took Lopez’s gun and shot her in the leg, severing the femoral artery, Heath said.

Lopez could have bled to death if not for the quick response of the ambulance and medical care she received, Heath said.

Tate was stopped while driving Lopez’s vehicle four hours after the attack.

“There was no reason for this man to come home and do this to me,” Lopez said.

Tate had no previous criminal conviction and was working at the time of the incident, said defense attorney Olga Izmaylova of the public defender’s office.

Tate pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet accepted the sentencing recommendation.

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