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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Chowan County Man Sentenced After Firing Gun in Domestic Dispute

By Press release submission | Jan 16, 2020


U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina issued the following announcement on Jan. 16.

United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today in federal court, Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle, sentenced Nicholas Elliott, 32, of Tyner, NC to 36 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release.  ELLIOTT was named in a single-count Indictment on August 22, 2019, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  On November 13, 2019, he pled guilty to the Indictment. 

According to the investigation, a woman called 911 on June 20, 2019, reporting that her ex-boyfriend, Nicholas ELLIOTT, had fired a gun at her outside a residence in Tyner, NC, in Chowan County.  She had fled to a Family Dollar Store, where she placed the 911 call.  Chowan County Sheriff Deputies met the woman there.  She explained she had been at her home that she shared with ELLIOTT when they had had a physical altercation.  She ran out of the house after he grabbed a gun.  As she ran toward the woods, she looked back to see him repeatedly firing a black handgun with an extended magazine in her direction.  She hid in the woods until she heard ELLIOTT’s car start, then got a ride to Family Dollar and called 911. 

The Chowan County Sheriff’s Office responded to ELLIOTT’s residence.  ELLIOTT claimed a friend had fired the shots and left with the gun, but he agreed to allow a detective to check the house for firearms.  On the bed in ELLIOTT’s bedroom, the detective spotted a silver magazine with four spent and one unspent .40 caliber bullets.  On a closet shelf, the detective found a black and silver Smith & Wesson .40 caliber pistol with an extended magazine, as ELLIOTT’s ex-girlfriend had described.  ELLIOTT later confessed that he had shot the gun in the air several times after the fight with his ex-girlfriend. 

Prior to these events, ELLIOTT had sustained three state convictions for Assault on a Female, as well as a Domestic Violence Protective Order Violation.  He also had a state felony drug conviction, for which he was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.    

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.  For more information about Project Guardian, please see: 

This case is also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina implements the PSN Program through its Take Back North Carolina Initiative.  This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.

The Chowan County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Pugh represented the government.

Original source can be found here.

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U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina