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Woman sentenced to seven months in shooting of boyfriend

By Joe Beck

A Stephens City woman was sentenced Monday in Frederick County Circuit Court to five years in prison, most of it suspended, in the shooting of her boyfriend David R. Dawson.

Monday's sentence imposed by Judge Donald Haddock followed the terms of a plea agreement reached in September. Bernice Carper Viverette, 67, at that time 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, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Dennis McLoughlin 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. He also agreed to recommend suspension of all but seven months of the five-year prison term she received. The sentence also included three years probation.

Viverette may be able to serve her seven months at home under electronic monitoring depending on the findings jail authorities reach about her suitability for such a sentence.

Viverette's convictions stem from a shooting in Nov. 24, 2010 at the home she shared with Dawson at 427 Westmoreland Drive in Stephens City.

Court records show Dawson told a law enforcement officer that Viverette "leveled and aimed a small firearm at him," and fired two rounds. One struck his lower leg, according to the criminal complaint.

Viverette dashed upstairs after shooting Dawson and fled in her vehicle, according to the court records. She was arrested within about six minutes after the shooting was reported at 9:30 p.m., authorities said.

Viverette's criminal record includes convictions on several drug-related offenses and one charge of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, according to court records.


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