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Missouri Attorney General Secures 320 Year Prison Sentence for Jefferson County Man for Assault of Police Officer

Oct 13, 2022, 16:42 PM by AG Schmitt
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced today that his office has secured a sentence of 320 years of imprisonment for James Cummings, who was convicted of shooting two police officers. Judge Coleman, of Jefferson County, sentenced Cummings to four life sentences for four counts of Assault in the First Degree on a Law Enforcement Officer and four 50 year sentences for four counts of Armed Criminal Action. Combined, the sentences are consecutive for a total of 320 years imprisonment.
“Since becoming Attorney General, my Office has had a zero tolerance policy for violent crime, especially for crime committed against Missouri’s law enforcement,” said Attorney General Eric Schmitt. “Police officers put themselves on the line to protect Missourians every day, and I am proud to say my Office has had their backs every step of the way. I hope this sentence sends a message loud and clear: my Office will not stop until Missouri is rid of violent crime and police officers can do their jobs without fear.”
 
On August 16, 2019, Cummings shot at four law enforcement officers during an eviction removal.  Two officers from Carter County and two officers from Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to the Carter County property Cummings was occupying.  Cummings had previously been evicted from this property but refused to leave.  The officers were court ordered to remove Cummings from the property.  Rather than voluntarily leaving, Cummings fired five shots at the officers with a SKS rifle.  Two officers were struck by gunfire, one of which was struck multiple times and almost died.  Cummings was charged with four counts of Assault in the First Degree on a Law Enforcement Officer and four counts of Armed Criminal Action.
 
A jury returned guilty verdicts on all 8 counts as charged on July 15, 2022.
 
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office was appointed to assist the Carter County Prosecutor’s office in the prosecution of this case.  Assistant Attorney Generals Jennifer Coffin and Corie Geary-Atkins tried the case in Jefferson County on a change of venue.  They were assisted by paralegal Verdina Pilipovic and Investigator Robert Dudley. 
 
The Attorney General’s Office would like to extend a special thanks to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance and support throughout this trial and sentencing.