NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A 26-year-old man has been convicted of shooting his partner in the chest in the Great Dismal Swamp earlier this year.
A federal jury convicted Maurice Lee, of Suffolk, late Thursday on two charges including assault with intent to commit murder and discharge of a firearm, the Department of Justice wrote in a news release Friday.
Lee had a “tumultuous” multi-year relationship with the victim, who he shot in the chest at the Great Dismal Swamp, a national wildlife refuge, on May 12.
Court records and evidence show Lee stopped at his parent’s house, took a 9 millimeter handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets and hid it in his jacket before the shooting.
Lee then “lured” the victim to the Great Dismal Swamp for a picnic. They walked several miles onto Lynn Ditch Road, where Lee pulled the gun on the person.
He shot the man in the chest and said “you were disloyal.” He threatened to shoot him again, but in the head, if he told anyone what had happened in the Great Dismal Swamp.
Lee ended up calling 911 from the location, telling the dispatcher it was a “long story” how the man got shot. He said he accidentally shot the victim during an incident involving a bear.
Evidence from the crime scene uncovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed the gun was fired between 3 and 18 inches away from the victim.
Lee faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison.
He is scheduled to be sentenced March 16.