Car burglar who shot minister in the face during gun battle is sentenced

Local Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – – A car burglar convicted last month of critically wounding a Millington homeowner was sentenced Friday to 24 years in prison with no parole for attempted murder and four other felonies, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.

A Criminal Court judge sentenced Jonathan James Lee, 35, of Memphis for attempted first-degree murder, employment of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony, two counts of burglary of a motor vehicle, and theft of property over $1,000.

According to sheriff’s deputies, Lee was breaking into a vehicle around 11:40 p.m. on Jan. 14, 2019, parked outside a residence on Covington Pike Road in Millington when the homeowners noticed him.

While his wife called 911, a 56-year-old man armed himself and went outside to confront Lee who gotten back into his own vehicle and began shooting through a rolled-down window. Lee then exited his vehicle and continued shooting.

The homeowner was shot in the right eye and in the back, but managed to return fire, striking Lee in the stomach. Lee got back in his vehicle and drove away, but his car got stuck in the mud at an area construction zone.

Lee was arrested by deputies a short time later while walking down Highway 14 near Covington Pike. He was treated at a hospital and then taken to jail.

At the sentencing hearing, the victim and his wife told Lee they forgave him, but that he must face the consequences for his actions. The victim, a minister who lost his right eye, said he is serving a life sentence as a partially blind man.

The trial was handled by Felony Asst. Melissa Harris and Asst. Dist. Atty. Paige Munn.

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