• Woman pleads guilty in connection with officer-involved shooting

    By: Dave Faherty

    Updated:

    CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. - A woman pleaded guilty Monday in connection with an officer-involved shooting.

    A Caldwell County deputy had pulled over a car for having an expired tag when things became violent.

    Deputies said Stephanie Sipes was inside the car when the deputy was shot.  

    She didn’t fire the weapon, but prosecutors said she didn’t help the deputy either. 

    [Caldwell County deputy shot in the line of duty returns to work]

    Sipes took the stand during her plea.  

    She was charged with accessory after the fact to assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.  

    On the stand, she talked about how she was raped as a child and had been using drugs, including methamphetamine.

    Deputy Jordan Sherrill pulled a car over last summer for having an expired tag when the driver, Kerry Townsend, shot him as he approached the car. 

    Sipes, who was a passenger, said she knew he had a gun, and that both she and Townsend didn’t want to go back to jail.

    Sherrill is back on the job patrolling at night in Caldwell County. Channel 9 asked if he accepted Sipes' apology for a shooting that could cause medical problems for the rest of his life.

    “I couldn’t tell you what is going through her head,” Sherrill said. “I don’t know if she is being sympathetic or not. I just look at it the best way I can. If she’s sorry, then I’m happy she’s actually sorry.”

    The judge found that Sipes tried to keep the driver from being arrested and didn’t appear to be remorseful.   

    Sipes was sentenced to almost 3 ½ years in prison.

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