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Albemarle man pleads guilty in Nelson shooting

An Albemarle County man will spend three months behind bars after pleading guilty to charges stemming from an April shooting.

Dennis Allen Bishop, 58, pleaded guilty in Nelson Circuit Court on Tuesday to one count each of malicious wounding, possession of a firearm while subject to a protective order, reckless handling of a firearm and possession of a firearm as a nonviolent felon.

Nelson County Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Erik Laub told the court on the evening of April 4, the victim was parked outside his neighbor’s house on Cabell Road in Nelson County near Howardsville. The neighbor had asked the victim to help repair her mailbox; the neighbor is the petitioner of a protective order against Bishop.

Laub said the victim saw a dark colored late-model Ford pickup truck pull up on the street behind him, and an older white man in a hat, who the victim later identified as Bishop, exit the truck.

According to Laub, the victim heard a shot, fired from about 30 yards away. He opened his door and said, “hey, what’s going on?,” and then heard another shot. He closed his door and heard a third shot, then drove off and called the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office when he returned home.

Laub told the court authorities examined the victim’s vehicle and found bullet damage to its back tail light. Authorities also searched Bishop’s residence in Albemarle County and found a truck that fit the victim’s description, but did not recover a firearm.

The terms of Bishop’s plea agreement call for a total of 10 years and six months in jail, with all but three months suspended.

Laub explained to Judge Michael Doucette the departure from sentencing guidelines, saying the victim did not want a more severe penalty, taking a “no harm no foul” attitude toward the matter. Laub also said Bishop has suffered a stroke while incarcerated and will need to seek additional medical treatment once released.

Bishop will also have to pay the victim $500 in restitution.


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