A man who was wounded in a shooting at his own home last April on Mountain View Drive was convicted in DeKalb County Criminal Court Thursday of reckless endangerment and aggravated assault for trying to stab the man who shot him in self defense.
A jury of eight women and four men found 25 year old Matthew Randall Sullivan guilty as charged following the day long trial. After the verdict was announced, Judge Leon Burns, Jr. revoked Sullivan's $100,000 bond and ordered him incarcerated until his April 5th sentencing hearing.
The shooting was reported to 911 at 3:24 a.m. on Saturday, April 18th, 2009.
Sheriff Patrick Ray says his department was contacted and upon arrival, officers found Sullivan in a wooded area behind the residence.
DeKalb EMS arrived on the scene and a Life Force Helicopter was summoned to airlift Sullivan to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. A helicopter landing zone was set up on Highway 56 north in the Buckner's Chapel Church area. Sullivan was treated and released a short time later.
Sheriff Ray says through interviews and evidence that was collected at the crime scene, the shooting appeared to have been justified. "Through interviews with the victim and witnesses at the scene, it appears that Sullivan assaulted one man at the residence and then kicked a bedroom door open where another man, female and two small children were present."
"The man in the bedroom was then approached by Sullivan, who was holding a large knife, and witnesses state that Sullivan began to try and assault the man with the knife. The man, in fear of his life and the safety of the other people in the room, shot at least one round from a 38 caliber pistol which hit Sullivan's right arm and chest area, exiting his back. Sullivan then left the residence and went out side."
According to Sheriff Ray, prior to the shooting, Mr. Sullivan had gotten arrested by the Smithville Police Department for driving under the influence. "He bonded out of jail and found out that Mandy Sullivan, his estranged wife, had some people (two men) at her residence that he was not fond of. Sullivan and his wife (Mandy) had been separated for about a week and a half prior to the shooting."
"He (Matthew) arrives at the residence, goes in and assaults one of the guys pretty badly. He (Matthew) then winds up getting a butcher knife and threatens the other man in the house. The victim stated that he actually jabbed at him one time with the knife and when he jabbed again, he (victim) shot him (Matthew) in self defense."
"Our evidence at the crime scene shows that the victim was actually the shooter."
After the shooting, his (Matthew's) wife (Mandy) goes back in, moves evidence around in the home, hides the knife, takes the gun, unloads it, throws away the spent round and a live round and keeps the gun, hiding it from the officers while they were there. She also gave some false statements, covering for her husband."
The case against Mandy Sullivan, charged with filing a false report, tampering with evidence, and fabricating evidence, is still pending.