Man sentenced for Jacksonville Publix parking lot shooting that severely injured estranged wife

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A man will spend at least the next 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to trying to murder his estranged wife in a grocery store parking lot last year.

District Attorney Ernie Lee said that Jermaine Lewis, 34, pled guilty to attempted first-degree murder and discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle during a hearing on Thursday.

He was sentenced to between 15 and 20 years in prison.

Lee said it was back on July 14th that Lewis’ estranged wife got into her car after finishing a shift at the Western Boulevard Publix grocery store. The D.A. said that the woman had spent several days trying to remain hidden from Lewis.

Investigators said that Lewis drove up next to the woman’s car and began shooting at her vehicle. The victim was able to drive away and to the front of the store where she began honking her horn prompting co-workers to come out and call 911.

Lee said that the woman was seriously injured in the shooting and spent nine days in the hospital. We’re told she ended up with a torn lung, a torn spleen, and significant damage to her liver, esophagus, stomach, and diaphragm which required surgery and follow up care.

District Attorney Ernie Lee stated in a news release that “I am very pleased with the quick response of the Jacksonville Police Department in this case. This is a very similar fact situation to a case I tried in Jacksonville in March 2017 in which that defendant also shot his estranged wife in her place of employment at the Olive Garden Restaurant on Western Blvd. In that case, the jury convicted that defendant of felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and other offenses, and he too received a very substantial prison sentence. Domestic violence is rampant in this nation and as both these cases demonstrate, victims can be seriously injured or killed due to the actions of a spouse who refuses to accept their estrangement or the end of the relationship. These cases are serious, and this office will continue to put considerable resources in prosecuting those who commit these acts of domestic violence. Victims must be protected.”

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