Suspended Sentence for Harris

Suspended Sentence for Harris

Area woman receives three years probation for Fairfax shooting.

A 23-year-old Penderbrook woman received a suspended sentence and three years probation, last week, for shooting a 16-year-old boy in the shoulder. She is Carrie Harris of the 12100 block of Penderview Lane in Fairfax.

City of Fairfax police arrested Harris in September in connection with an Aug. 19, 2004, offense at the Turnpike Shopping Center in the 9500 block of Main St., in Fairfax. They charged her with malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

According to police, the boy said he and three other young men were walking across the parking lot, around 11:30 p.m., when they met two young women and two other young men. After a confrontation, Harris fired a weapon and injured the victim — a teen from Capitol Heights, Md.

Everyone involved fled after the shooting, but city police initiated an investigation after the boy — who was treated at Inova Fairfax Hospital and then released — reported the incident to police. A warrant was obtained for Harris, and police took her into custody on Sept. 13. The grand jury later indicted her on both charges.

ON FEB. 8 in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ian Rodway amended the malicious-wounding charge to the lesser offense of unlawful wounding, in exchange for Harris' guilty plea. He also agreed to drop the firearm charge.

Rodway then explained what happened on the night of the crime. He said the trouble had already started before Harris and the teenager went to the shopping center.

"Earlier in the evening, the victim and his friends [who'd come from Sterling] had agreed to meet another group of individuals at the 7-Eleven on Pickett Road," said Rodway. "There was a phone call, and somebody felt disrespected."

Then Harris and some of her friends arrived at the scene. "The groups moved to the Bank of America parking lot, and weapons were displayed by her group," said Rodway. "Someone within her group pulled out a weapon and pistol-whipped someone in his group."

When the victim fled, said the prosecutor, Harris "pulled out a 9 mm pistol and shot into the air, hitting [him] in the back [near his shoulder]." Rodway said it was a serious injury, but not life-threatening.

Harris — who already served six months in jail since her arrest — returned to court on Friday, March 18, for sentencing. Judge Leslie Alden then sentenced her to three years in prison, suspending all that time and placing her on three years supervised probation.

Afterward, pleased with the outcome, defense attorney Bob Whitestone said, "I'm gratified that Judge Alden agreed to follow the recommendations of the commonwealth attorney, the probation officer and the sentencing guidelines."