Gary Steve Shuford Sr., 65, of Newton, will spend four to six years in prison after a Catawba County jury found him guilty of fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle, driving while impaired and having habitual felon status.
The Honorable Karen Eady-Williams, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, imposed the prison sentence for Shuford after the jury returned its verdict on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.
The defendant will serve the active sentence in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections, followed by three years of supervised probation.
The trial lasted three days and included deliberation by the jury over a two-day period.
Shuford appealed the conviction and was given an appeal bond of $50,000 by the Court.
The defendant’s sentence was enhanced by prior felony convictions for possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine (September 1986), possession of firearm by a felon (March 2014) and possession of firearm by a felon (August 2017), all in Catawba County.
On September 28, 2018, a Catawba County deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Shuford. However, the defendant did not adhere and continued driving, swerving into the opposite lane of traffic at least three times, until he reached his residence in Newton where the deputy used his patrol car to block Shuford’s vehicle.
As he took Shuford into custody, the deputy detected a strong odor of alcohol from Shuford and requested assistance from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Through the combination of standardized field sobriety tests and a breath alcohol test, it was determined that the defendant was impaired.
Jared Broome handled the investigation for the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from Trooper Z.E. Beam. Assistant District Attorney Melanie Earles prosecuted the case for the State.
CONTACT: Nathan Key