A Columbia woman will serve up to 16 years in prison for shooting a woman in a racially-charged incident last year in Columbia.
Ashley Curry will serve 6 years and 2 months to 16 years in prison regarding trial convictions of felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor counts of ethnic intimidation and simple assault.
Lancaster County Judge Merrill Spahn ordered that sentence Tuesday, calling Curry’s “irreverence” toward the incident “striking.”
Curry, 33, was convicted of confronting a woman, shouting racial slurs and spitting on her, in a shopping center parking lot on Lancaster Avenue on Feb. 3, 2015. Curry then shot another woman, 33, in the stomach.
Judge Spahn and First Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Larsen rejected Curry’s claims that she was acting in self-defense.
“I’d have shot her if she was white,” Curry told the judge. “It was an unfortunate situation that just happened.”
Larsen noted that Curry hasn’t expressed any remorse. In justified self-defense cases, Larsen said, not speaking of Curry’s case, the shooter shows empathy for causing injury.
Instead, Larsen said of Curry, “It is almost like (she) is wearing this as some kind of badge of honor.”
Judge Spahn pointed to the local jury’s July verdict which strongly contradicted Curry’s version of events.
The judge said he has great respect for the Second Amendment, but noted the right to bear arms carries “great responsibility.”
“You were irresponsible and aggressive” with your firearm, Judge Spahn told Curry, calling the incident a “recipe for disaster.”
As Judge Spahn read Curry her appeal rights, she interjected, “I don’t need change… only guilty people show remorse.”
Curry also was ordered to pay $100,000 restitution for medical treatment of the victim’s injuries.
Columbia police Detective Matthew Leddy filed charges.