The man who shot a South Carolina Highway Patrolman in 2019 has finally been arrested and sentenced to federal prison.
According to officials, U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis sentenced William Bernard Wright to more than eight years in federal prison, to be followed by the maximum sentence of 3 years of court-ordered supervision. This sentence is related to his conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
On December 9, 2020, Wright was also sentenced to 35 years in state prison, to be served concurrent to the the federal sentence. This sentence is related to convictions in the state court on four charges: attempted murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, possession of a weapon by a convicted violent felon, and failure to stop for blue lights.
At 8 p.m. on June 2, 2019, South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Paul Wise witnessed Wright driving without a seatbelt, and attempted to pull him over for a traffic stop. Instead, Wright fled and took the trooper on a car chase. He was forced to stop at the end of a dead-end road.
Wright exited his vehicle and drew his firearm at close range, discharging at least 12 rounds at Trooper Wise. Luckily, Wise was wearing a ballistic vest. He was struck in the chest area, and sustained other injuries to the side of his neck. Wright then attempted to flee, but the officer returned fire, hitting Wright. Trooper Wise ordered Wright to get on the ground, and called for backup.
According to WISTV, Wright had been arrested several times in the past, and had been convicted of numerous crimes, including: “pointing and presenting a firearm (2007); assault and battery (2008); discharging a firearm within city limits and unlawful carry of a pistol (2008); resisting arrest (2011); attempted murder, attempted armed robbery, and criminal conspiracy (2013); and assault and battery – second degree (2017). Evidence presented in court indicated Wright had only been out of custody from a prior conviction for about 10 months, and that he had a history of criminal acts or misconduct while in custody and while on supervision.”