Man gets 20 years for attempted murder

Published 10:05 pm Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A 59-year-old man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Wednesday for a shooting outside his home last year.

James Leonard Ash was found guilty of the Aug. 18, 2009, shooting that put victim Marquise Miller in the hospital. He suffered serious injuries after being shot multiple times in the 700 block of Kilby Avenue, in front of Ash’s home.

Ash’s attorney, Greg Matthews, tried to claim self-defense for his client, but prosecutors pointed to a similar incident involving Ash in 1987 to paint a history of criminal activity.

“All you have to do is change the names of the victims,” prosecutor Will Jamerson said. “He felt that somebody wronged him, and he shot him.”

The defense also attempted to point to Miller’s criminal history to portray him as a violent man. Jamerson shot back.

“I’m not going to stand here and say that Marquise Miller is the reincarnation of Mother Theresa, but just like everyone else on this earth, he is entitled to the protection of the law,” he said.

During sentencing, the defense also asked for the 11-year mandatory minimum sentence because of Ash’s age.

“He is on the back nine,” Matthews said. “Most of his life is behind him.”

Jamerson said Ash shouldn’t get a break just because of his age.

Judge Carl E. Eason Jr. agreed.

“What’s clear to me, Mr. Ash, is that you’re a danger to the community,” Eason said. “I think that you’ve now shown it on two different occasions.”

Ash must serve a total of 20 years on his charges of attempted first degree murder, aggravated malicious wounding, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, shoot, stab, cut or wound, and two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.