No jail time in road rage shooting

By Hal Scheurich

Ono Island resident, Steven Pinson will receive no jail time for what Orange Beach Police called a "road rage" shooting in August of 2012. A Baldwin County judge ordered him to serve probation instead and pay restitution. Pinson was convicted back in April of assault second…a class "C" felony.

Steven Pinson was convicted of shooting a Tourist, Damon Hembree in the chest after the two got into a heated exchange on Perdido Beach Boulevard. Originally charged with attempted murder, the former game warden was surrounded by family and other supporters as Judge Jody Bishop handed down the sentence.

In what they hope will be their last trip to a Baldwin County courtroom, Damon Hembree and his family came one more time to see sentence passed on the man who shot him out of a pickup window nearly two years ago. Prosecutors asked Hembree to testify one more time for his cause.

"Mr. Hembrey still has some physical issues that he suffers from. His children have nightmares. It's had a very emotional impact on the family obviously so I think that a judge needs to hear that prior to passing sentence," said Baldwin County Assistant DA, ChaLea Tisdale.

The state asked that Pinson be sentenced to five years in prison. That didn't happen. Judge Jody Bishop sentenced Pinson to 10 years, suspended for three years formal probation and other conditions. Pinson's attorney said the sentence was fitting.

"I think the responsibility for what occurred that day is shared by both parties and I think that's what the judge felt was of some balancing act or factor to be considered in imposing a sentence of probation," said defense attorney, Tommy Spina.

"We would have liked to have seen some jail time of course. Mr. Hembrey would have liked a bit of vendication in that way, but Mr. Pinson will be out and be able to pay restitution so that will make a big difference," Tisdale said.

Pinson's restitution has yet to be determined. Along with his probation, Pinson is paying $1,000 in fines, $250 to the victim's compensation fund and will have to serve 250 hours community service.

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