Woman avoids jail for shooting homeless man who asked her to move car

Poppy Bilderbeck

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Woman avoids jail for shooting homeless man who asked her to move car

Featured Image Credit: @nickellereports/Twitter

A woman convicted of shooting a homeless man who asked her to move her Porsche has managed to escape jail time.

On Thursday, 3 November, Katie Quackenbush was sentenced for the shooting of a homeless man which took place in Nashville, Tennessee in 2017.

Despite allegedly asking Gerald Melton if he 'wanted to die' and later firing two shots at him, the 32-year-old woman has received no jail time for her actions.

Katie Quackenbush has received no jail time for the shooting of a homeless man. Credit: Metropolitan Nashville Police Department
Katie Quackenbush has received no jail time for the shooting of a homeless man. Credit: Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

The incident itself took place in the early hours of 26 August, 2017 on Music Row in Nashville.

According to Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, the altercation between the pair began after Quackenbush woke Melton up from where he was sleeping on the sidewalk with the exhaust fumes and loud music coming from her Porsche.

During the argument, Melton testified Quackenbush asked him whether or not he 'wanted to die tonight' before getting out of the vehicle and firing two shots at him as he was walking away.

Quackenbush is reported as having been accompanied by a passenger who remained in the vehicle during the incident, with the pair then driving home - making a pit stop at Taco Bell - without reporting the shooting straight away.

Quackenbush is reported as having driven off after shooting Melton heading to Taco Bell. Credit: Mahmoud Masad/Alamy Stock Photo
Quackenbush is reported as having driven off after shooting Melton heading to Taco Bell. Credit: Mahmoud Masad/Alamy Stock Photo

Authorities were only called when Melton was discovered by a passerby, having been struck twice in the abdomen - injuries which resulted in him requiring a minimum of three surgeries, according to prosecutors.

Quackenbush was later arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted first-degree murder.

However, the severity of the charges she faced changed during a trial held in April.

The two day trial resulted in Quackenbush only being found guilty of one of the charges: Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon - a Class A misdemeanour that can result in a maximum jail sentence of 11 months and 29 days.

Last week, Quackenbush's legal team argued the 32-year-old had been afraid of Melton and had acted in self defence.

Melton reportedly required three surgeries. Credit: @NickelleReports/Twitter
Melton reportedly required three surgeries. Credit: @NickelleReports/Twitter

Quackenbush's father - a Texas attorney - told Fox 17 his daughter told Melton to get 'away' from her before shooting the first round 'as a means of warning, not intending to hit or kill him'.

However, an eyewitness testified they heard Quackenbush saying she wasn't afraid.

The 32-year-old's history of exhibiting similar behaviour was also discussed in court - with it emerging that Quackenbush had previously poured water on someone in a restaurant and threatened to hit a baby with a brick.

However, Quackenbush's team argued she had already been punished enough, from being ridiculed online after a mugshot of her was released, as well as her finding it hard to get a job.

The mum-of-four also pledged to make right on her past threats, claiming she has been 'inspired' to 'do better' and hopes to become a lawyer to 'help people who have been in [her] shoes'.

The shooting isn't the only time Quackenbush has reportedly shown alarming behaviour. Credit: @NickelleReports/Twitter
The shooting isn't the only time Quackenbush has reportedly shown alarming behaviour. Credit: @NickelleReports/Twitter

The sentencing resolved in less than 45 minutes, with Quackenbush being convicted of reckless endangerment, which is a misdemeanor, and handed a probation sentence of 11 months and 29 days, according to The Tennessean.

During the sentencing, Quackenbush said: "This has been the worst experience of my life, but I’m grateful that I had it, because it has changed me so dramatically to the core. Sometimes hard lessons are the best lessons."

If you've been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can speak in confidence about where to get help from Mind free on 0300 123 3393, 9am–6pm Monday to Friday

Topics: News, US News, True crime, Crime, Cars

Poppy Bilderbeck
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