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Fatal Police Shooting Suspect's Long Record Had Recent Dismissals

The man accused of fatally shooting four law enforcement officers during a gunfight Monday in North Carolina has a lengthy criminal record in the state. Court documents reveal Terry Clark Hughes Jr. has been arrested numerous times, has a history of incarceration since the mid-2000s, and has served almost two years in the state prison system. His most recent period of incarceration ended in 2013 after he was sentenced as a felon in possession of a firearm, the same charge police said the task force was preparing to arrest him for on Monday, WBTV reports.

According to the court records, some of Hughes’ more recent charges between 2020 and 2022 have been dismissed or appear to be stagnant. A 2021 charge in Mecklenburg County for fleeing and eluding arrest was “dismissed with leave,” according to court records, but it was really pending until law enforcement arrested Hughes again for skipping court. A 2020 charge for driving with a revoked license was dismissed because the Mecklenburg District Attorney’s office was “unable to prioritize prosecution due to the COVID-19 Court Closure.” A 2021 arrest on a multitude of marijuana charges was also dropped as the Mecklenburg DA’s office started dismissing low-level offenses after the pandemic. There are similar charges with similar outcomes in Person and Alamance Counties. “I really think we’re overwhelmed,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings said. “We’re overwhelmed in the court system; our district attorney is overwhelmed with the docket that we see within Charlotte-Mecklenburg.”


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