2009-12-31 / Front Page

Shives Gets 9 Years For Attempted Murder

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

A Big Cove Tannery man was led from the Fulton County Courthouse Tuesday after having been sentenced to a minimum of nine years in a state correctional institution for attempting to murder his longtime girlfriend.

Prior to being handed his state sentence by Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Douglas Herman, Michael Frederick Shives Sr. of 1458 East Pittman Road took the opportunity to publicly apologize to his on-again, off-again girlfriend of 14 years.

Standing before the court with defense attorney Chris Sheffield, the 45-year-old man admitted he has had some problems over the years and made reference to his education at the Southern Fulton School District, which included special education courses.

The court went on to review the variety of prescribed medications Shives has and is currently taking, his workman’s compensation claims for a workrelated injury and his prior criminal history. The history, according to Judge Herman, includes a 1992 incident where Shives assaulted his wife with a gun.

Given the “deliberateness” of Shives’ conduct and “history of gun violence” against women, the judge noted it was one of his duties to protect the public. As a result, Shives was ordered to complete between nine and 20 years in a state correctional institution for criminal attempt murder. Fourteen days credit were granted for time previously served. Shives was also ordered to undergo a variety of treatments such as mental health and anger management.

On an additional count of possession of an instrument of crime, Shives was sentenced to between nine months and five years. The sentence will run simultaneously with the sentence imposed for attempted murder. Shives will pay a total of $1,000 in fines as well as restitution.

Additional charges involving aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment were combined with the other two counts for the purpose of sentencing.

Shives was found guilty by a jury of all five charges in early October regarding the incident that occurred on September 17, 2008, along Route 522 just north of Webster Mills. Testimony and police documents show Shives pulled alongside the woman’s northbound Ford Explorer at slightly before 10 p.m. Two bullets from a 357 Taurus revolver were fired by Shives into the center and near the key latch of the victim’s driver-side door, shattering the window.

Issues brought to light during the two-day criminal trial included medication-induced “incoherent ramblings” penned by Shives to the woman in cards and a notebook, health issues, the daily routines of the of the couple and their most recent breakup.

The victim was in court during the December 29 sentencing but would not address the court. Through Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall, she did, however, present the court with a motion to have the cards sent to her by Shives returned. Judge Herman stated he would consider the victim’s request upon the condition copies were made of the evidence.

Shives has 10 days to file a motion with the court for reconsideration of sentencing as well as 30 days to appeal the matter to a higher court.

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