An appeals court judge has upheld the twenty year prison sentence of a Jacksonville man who fired a warning shot.
Judge James Wolf told Eric Wright Tuesday that he believes that the state’s now-repealed mandatory minimum gun laws are unfair. He then “regretfully” sentenced Wright to serve the full 20 year term, saying his hands were tied.
Wright fired a shot into the floor at his fiancee’s Jacksonville home four years ago, trying to get an angry ex-girlfriend who showed up there unannounced to leave. No one was injured and Wright had no previous criminal record, but he was convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm and sentenced to twenty years in prison under Florida’s then-mandatory minimum sentencing rules.
Mandatory minimums for gun crimes were thrown out by lawmakers in 2016, but the new law was not retroactive to cases before it took effect. Judges now have more leeway to consider the unique circumstances of the case and those involved.