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Man gets 15 years in Fredericksburg shooting
BY KEITH EPPS
A jury Thursday night recommended a 15-year prison sentence for a man who shot a man he used to live with in a dispute that involved $50.
Dennis Wayne Spindle, 55, was convicted in Fredericksburg Circuit Court of malicious wounding, using a firearm in the commission of a felony and possessing a firearm as a felon.
Spindle shot Martin Shelton in the leg Sept. 18 outside Shelton's home in the 3100 block of Village Lane. Spindle had lived with Shelton until about two weeks earlier, and they had known each other about 30 years.
Shelton was shot above the knee with a .32-caliber handgun. He has since recovered from his wounds.
According to the evidence put on by Commonwealth's Attorney LaBravia Jenkins, Shelton had called Spindle repeatedly that day regarding a $50 debt Spindle owed and because he wanted Spindle to get his belongings out of the home.
The accounts of what happened after Spindle showed up that evening varied
Police arrested Spindle in southern Stafford later that night.
Shelton said he was in his home that evening when Spindle started banging on the door and the window with a gun.
Shelton said that after Spindle finally returned to his car, he stepped outside and was shot.
Spindle said he went to the home to pick up property that was supposed to be left in the driveway.
He said he knocked on the door and window because the property wasn't there. Spindle testified that he hadn't touched the gun at that point.
Spindle said he retreated to his car after an enraged Shelton came outside with a wooden weapon threatening to kill him.
He said he grabbed the gun off the lap of his passenger and fired a single shot as Shelton neared his window.
"I was scared to death," Spindle said. "I was very upset that I had to shoot someone but he's very violent. I've seen him in action."
According to the evidence, Spindle had gotten the gun earlier that day from Robert Spindle, who is no relation.
Robert Spindle said he gave Dennis Spindle $600 cash and the gun in exchange for a Jeep.
Robert Spindle made jurors chuckle several times during his testimony, including when defense attorney Cary Bowen asked him if he had a criminal record.