A man accused of threatening a good Samaritan who was trying to protect a pregnant woman from violence pleaded guilty Thursday to a reduced charge and apologized.
Judge Michael N. Annis accepted a plea negotiation in Richmond County Superior Court that reduced a charge of aggravated assault to terroristic threats and sentenced Jumaane R. Middleton, 33, to five years of probation.
David Lee Walker told the judge he was on his way home from Bible study the evening of July 18, 2012, when he saw a man abusing a woman in a parked car.
Walker said he stopped his vehicle and called 911, talking loudly so the assailant would hear him. The man stopped hitting the woman and came toward him, Walker said.
“ ‘I will hit you in the mouth. I will shoot you and kill you,’ ” he quoted the man as saying.
“I thought I was going to die that night,” Walker said.
He said he thought the gun the man had might go off accidentally. Middleton, his wife and his mother said Middleton did not have a gun.
Joshua Smith, of the public defender’s office, told the judge that both Middleton and his wife said that although they were in a heated argument, there was no physical violence.
With conflicting statements from the witnesses, the reduced plea seemed an appropriate resolution, Assistant District Attorney Justin Jones said.
Annis praised Walker’s actions, saying if more people would take an active stand maybe there wouldn’t be so much violence and death.