A Killeen man claimed self-defense after shooting a 30-year-old man once in the head last year, according to testimony during a bond hearing this week.
Last year, Jeffrie Sterling Lane Jr., 27, was given a bond of $200,000 on a second-degree felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. During the remote hearing in the 27th Judicial District Court, Judge John Gauntt decided to not reduce Lane’s bond but did approve an interview for a personal recognizance bond.
“I do not tell them what to do,” Gauntt said.
Lane was booked into the Bell County Jail on Dec. 29, 2019, after being arrested by U.S. Marshals in Austin.
He was being held in the Bell County Jail on Friday morning.
The Wednesday hearing was the fourth hearing regarding Lane’s bond.
Lane claimed that he shot the victim once and that he had fired three warning shots.
The state’s prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Dana Nelson, said that Lane was not allowed to possess a firearm after two misdemeanor convictions for family assault.
“It was my wife’s firearm,” Lane said. “I took an oath to my wife to protect my family and I didn’t want her to be harmed so I took it from her when she froze.”
Lane claimed that the victim had his hand in a bag and was advancing toward Lane and his wife, when Lane fired the warning shots.
“I yelled at him to stop but he continued,” Lane said. “He had threatened my wife and kids so I believed that he had a weapon to attack me.”
Lane’s defense attorney, Mike Magana, asked the judge to reduce Lane’s bond to between $10,000-$50,000.
“We understand the serious nature of these allegations, but he has no prior felony convictions, he’s in good standing with his probation, he’s married with children and is employed,” Magana said. “He’s not a danger to himself or society.”
Nelson argued that the bond is sufficient to ensure the safety of the community.
“He had no business being in possession of a firearm and he admitted to shooting at (the victim) four times. One of those bullets entered (the victim’s) face and exited out back of his skull. It’s a miracle he survived.”
Killeen police on the afternoon of Dec. 27, 2019, responded to a shots-fired call in the 2300 block of Botanical Drive. When they got there, they saw a man with a gunshot wound. Police were told that the suspect fled toward Andover Drive, one street to the east.
“The preliminary investigation revealed that the victim and suspect were in a verbal altercation when shots were fired,” according to KPD in a news release on Dec. 28, 2019. “Witnesses told officers that the suspect fled on foot towards Andover Drive and barricaded himself inside a residence.”
Police evacuated residents and blocked off several roads near the area.
Detectives with the Killeen Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Homicide Unit, identified Lane as a suspect as they investigated the shooting, according to police.
Witness accounts stated Lane shot at the man three times and missed. Lane allegedly shot at the man a fourth time and hit him.
The man was airlifted to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple with life-threatening injuries.
A tip to detectives said Lane was in the Austin area. Lane was arrested at a Motel 6, according to the arrest affidavit.