JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A jury found a man who shot his estranged wife outside a Jacksonville Olive Garden not guilty on a charge of attempted first-degree murder Friday, but they did find him guilty of a number of other charges.
George Evans was convicted of assault by pointing gun, assault by deadly weapon with intent to kill, discharging a firearm into occupied property, possession of firearm by felon, a domestic violence protective order violation and a domestic violent order violation.
During closing arguments on Friday, DA Ernie Lee described Evan’s specific intent to kill Audry Graham that night.
“I know it’s been very difficult for the victim and her family because of all of the things she’s had to go through for the last several years,” Lee said. “On behalf of the victim’s family, I am so very grateful that this jury convicted.”
He said the only reason Graham is alive today is because she fled for her life.
Graham’s family says they’re grateful for the outcome.
“It’s been a very long road,” Melbvee Bullard, the victim’s daughter, said. “We are glad that it’s all behind her now. She can move on with her life. She’s been incredibly strong throughout this whole thing. We’re just glad it’s behind her and she can move on.”
Evans was sentenced to nearly 20 years to 26 years.
The state and defense both rested their cases Friday morning, and the jury reached their verdict Friday afternoon.
Evans will be transferred to a prison as close to Onslow County as possible because he has 15 pending lawsuits against local officials there.
A man accused of shooting his estranged wife outside a Jacksonville Olive Garden appeared before an Onslow Superior Court judge Thursday.
George Evans took the stand to explain his relationship with his estranged wife, Audry Graham, calling it tumultuous.
Evans is accused of shooting his wife five times outside of an Olive Garden on Western Boulevard in 2014.
Thursday, the state introduced the 63-year old’s prior record of an armed robbery that took place in 1977.
Evans is charged with two counts of domestic violence protective order violation, attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon, intent to kill and inflict serious injury and felon in possession of a firearm.
The state rested during Thursday’s trial. Soon after, Evans took the stand and testified about his tumultuous relationship with his wife.
He says the night where he shot Graham while she was in her car after work was a series of misunderstandings. Evans says the gun accidentally went off into the car.
Testimony from a clinical psychologist included Evan’s mental state. He is described as suffering from bipolar disorder and opioid abuse disorder, which the defense says played into the events of that night.