By Joe Beck - firstname.lastname@example.org
A Stephens City woman accused of shooting her boyfriend is facing a possible prison sentence of five years, most of it suspended, under a plea agreement filed Friday in Frederick County Circuit Court.
Bernice Carper Viverette, 66, of 101 Pocono Place, Stephens City, pleaded guilty to discharge of a firearm in an occupied building and possession of a firearm after being convicted of a non-violent felony. In exchange for the guilty pleas, the prosecution agreed to drop charges of malicious wounding, shooting in the commission of a felony; use of a firearm in the commission of a felony; and domestic assault. All but the domestic violence charge are felonies.
The charges stem from an incident on Nov. 24, 2010 at 427 Westmoreland Drive, Stephens City, the residence Viverette listed as her home at the time.
The complaint, filed initially in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and written by Deputy Brandon Guard, states that Guard responded to a report of a person shot in the leg.
The victim, Daniel Dawson, told Guard that Viverette, whom he described as a long-term girlfriend, "leveled and aimed a small firearm at him" after an argument, the complaint states. She fired two rounds at him, one of which hit his lower leg, according to the complaint. The second bullet was recovered from the floor "near where Bernice shot him," according to the complaint.
The complaint states that Viverette "immediately ran upstairs" after shooting Dawson and "left the residence in her vehicle." Law enforcement officers arrested her about six minutes after receiving the shooting report, according to the complaint.
The plea agreement calls for Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Dennis J. McLoughlin Jr. to recommend three years in prison, all but seven months of which would be suspended, on the charge of discharge of a firearm in an occupied building.
On the charge of possession of a firearm after being convicted of a non-violent felony, McLoughlin will recommend a suspended prison sentence of two years, according to the plea agreement. Viverette's criminal record includes convictions for several drug-related offenses and one charge of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, according to court records.
Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 26 in Frederick County Circuit Court.