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A Shelby County man was sentenced Tuesday to 201 months in a federal penitentiary for firing shots at a police officer in an apartment in Shelbyville last fall.
Calvin R. Morgan, 21, of Shelbyville was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Danny C. Reeves to serve 57 months (4.75 years) for being an illegal user of marijuana in possession of a firearm and 12 years for the use and discharge of a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime.
Morgan pleaded guilty to those crimes in April. Because he will serve in the federal system, Morgan will not be eligible for parole.
In November, Morgan and three others were arrested following a drug raid in which Morgan fired at police officers, narrowly missing the head of Shelbyville Police Detective Jerry Warman.
Warman and another officer, who has not been identified, were hit in the face by flying splinters of shattered wood when Morgan fired shots into the wall inches from their heads.
Also arrested were Beverly Jane Raisor, 40, Derek Baer, 19, and a 17-year old, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile,
Shelbyville Police Maj. D. Goodwin said at that time that when officers went to the apartment at 1427 Main St. to search for drugs, they called out that they were police officers before entering the residence.
When searching the apartment, officers started down a hallway, and Morgan, who was hiding in a bathroom with Raisor and the juvenile, shot through the bathroom door at police, Goodwin said.
Morgan originally was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, wanton endangerment, trafficking in marijuana within 1,000 yards of a school and unlawful transaction with a minor.
A statement from the U.S. Attorney's office in Frankfort said Morgan told
officers at the scene that he thought they were people coming to rob him over a drug issue.
But the others in the apartment told officers they clearly heard them call out and identify themselves as police, Goodwin said.
Raisor was charged with complicity to commit attempted murder, trafficking in marijuana and trafficking in marijuana within 1,000 yards of a school. Goodwin said she incurred the attempted-murder complicity charge because she didn’t try to call out and warn officers that Morgan was about to shoot at them.
Those charges against her were dismissed. Shelby County Commonwealth's Attorney Laura Donnell said Raisor never was indicted on the attempted murder complicity charge. She is scheduled to appear in Shelby Circuit Court on July 20, however, for unlawful transaction with a minor.
Baer was charged with trafficking in marijuana and possession of a drug paraphernalia. Those charges against him also were dismissed.
The juvenile, who was hiding in the bathtub at the time of the shooting, was also charged with complicity to commit attempted murder and trafficking in a controlled substance. His status is not known because juvenile-court records are sealed, Donnell said.
Goodwin commended the officers for not returning fire.
"Even though their lives were in danger and they had the right to defend themselves, they did not know if the shooter was alone in the bathroom, and it turned out that he wasn’t,” Goodwin said. "It could have ended extremely tragically if they had returned fire.”
In his statement at Morgan’s sentencing, Warman told the court that in his 30 years as a police officer, he and his fellow officers never have tried to surprise those inside the residences they search.
He added that alerting occupants of officers" presence prevents placing officers and others at risk.
Kyle Edelen with the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that the case was tried in federal court in conjunction with U.S. District Court’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, a Department of Justice initiative dedicated to reducing gun violence.
"The seriousness of the crime and its involvement with a firearm was the deciding factor to try it in federal court under Project Safe Neighborhoods,” he said.
Rich Putnam, the resident agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said he hopes the outcome of the case will be a deterrent to those contemplating using a gun in drug deal.
"In the interest of public safety, this sentencing will hopefully send the message that armed drug trafficking will not be tolerated, and law enforcement will continue to thwart these activities by combining their efforts at the local, state and federal levels,” he said. "The streets of Shelbyville are now safer as a result of today’s sentencing of Mr. Morgan.
Edelen said that under federal guidelines, one must serve at least 85 percent of one’s sentence to be eligible for early release.
"We do not have parole in the federal system, but after they have served 85 percent of their sentence, we take good behavior into account,” he said.
He added that Morgan will be assigned to one of the state’s five prisons, but he does not yet know which one.