HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Harrison County man will spend at least the next 15 years in prison for multiple charges, including an incident where he shot at a car, hitting one of its passengers in the head.
Robert Foxen, 21, pled guilty Tuesday to two counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a stolen firearm. The incidents happened on two different occasions, one on Valentine's Day in 2017 and the other in November 2016.
On Feb. 14, 2017, Foxen shot at a vehicle in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Saucier. Witnesses told police that Foxen fired multiple shots as the car was driving away. Four people were inside the vehicle at the time. A man in the backseat of the car was struck in the head by one of the three bullets fired at the car.
"Although the victim has recovered, he still has headaches and lingering pain from his injury," said assistant district attorney Jason Joef, who prosecuted the case.
During his plea hearing, Foxen admitted that he shot at the vehicle, saying he was upset because one of the car's occupants had given him a counterfeit hundred dollar bill.
Multiple witnesses, including at least one of the people in the car, identified Foxen as the suspect to authorities. Foxen was also recognized in a lineup by a resident of the apartment complex.
"Even though the shooter was initially unknown, with the help of witnesses, the Sheriff's Department was able to determine his identity within hours and arrest him within days," stated DA Joel Smith.
A warrant was issued for Foxen's arrest. Two days after the shooting, Foxen was arrested in Alabama. Harrison County Sheriff's Department brought him back to Mississippi to await trial.
Adding to Foxen's prison sentence was a stolen firearm charge that he also pled guilty to. That charge stemmed from a traffic stop on Nov. 8, 2016, in Gulfport. Police say they found a .45 caliber pistol in Foxen's vehicle. The gun had been reported stolen the month before. Foxen told officers he bought the gun on the black market for a low price and believed it was stolen.
During the plea hearing, Foxen's mother spoke to the court, pleading for leniency for her son. The judge took that opportunity to point how to Foxen how his actions had impacted so many people, including his own mother.
Foxen was sentenced to 25 years, with 15 of those years to be served in the custody of Mississippi Department of Corrections. Two other suspects were charged with accessory after the fact in the shooting and are currently awaiting trial.