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Hancock enters plea in wounding case

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

A Draper woman who shot and wounded her common law husband in early 2017 pleaded no contest Wednesday to three felony charges, including a reduced count of malicious wounding. She’ll be sentenced in January.

Patricia Ann Hancock, 69, originally was charged with aggravated malicious wounding. However, under a bare plea agreement she entered into Wednesday the aggravated malicious was dismissed.

Hancock instead pleaded no contest to charges of malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The no contest police means Hancock believes prosecution evidence would be sufficient to convict her, but she is not admitting guilt.

Under a bare plea agreement, no specific sentence is recommended. It is entirely up to the judge to decide what sentence to impose — keeping within sentences allowed under Virginia law. Hancock faces at least three years in mandatory prison time.

Malicious wounding carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Use of a firearm in a felony is punishable by a mandatory sentence of three years, but it can be a 5-year mandatory sentence if Hancock has any prior convictions for the same offense.

Hancock also faces up to five years on the other firearm conviction. However, if she has a prior conviction of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, two years or five years could be mandatory.

She is being sentenced at 1 p.m. Jan. 16, after completion of a background report. That will be one day shy of the second anniversary of the shooting.

Police say Hancock shot Brian Beard Jan. 17, 2017, at the Honaker Road home they shared. Beard testified during a preliminary hearing he was getting ready for work when Hancock, his “significant other” for 30 years, started accusing him of having an affair with a co-worker. He said Hancock threatened to “get both of us.”

When he got home later that afternoon, Beard was gathering a few things to leave when, he says, Hancock fired one shot into the ceiling, a second shot into a stack of papers in front of him and a third that struck him in the forearm and exited his elbow.

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