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Salisbury man sentenced to just under 2.5 years in prison for 2009 shooting

Staff report

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was convicted on a charge of felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

The verdict was reached this week by a jury in Rowan County Superior Court.

Murphy Leroy Corpening Jr., 42, was sentenced to 20 to 33 months in prison.

According to a statement from the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office, on July 4, 2009, officers responded to a 911 call regarding a person with a gun. Officers found numerous people standing outside between two residences on Myron Place.

The victim, George Ellis, told officers that Corpening had pulled out a blue gun and tried to fire at him twice. Ellis said Corpening pointed the gun at his chest and that he heard a clicking noise from the gun each time Corpening pulled the trigger. Each time the gun misfired, authorities said at the time. Ellis told authorities he turned and ran to the rear of a residence.

Murphy Corpening’s mother, Marie Granford, told officers the blue gun the victim saw was a .38-caliber derringer and that it was loaded. Granford said her son had been acting strange and had gotten into a fight with his brother.

According to a 2011 Post article, Granford said in court documents that she could not explain her son’s behavior. She said he displayed uncharacteristic behavior in the weeks leading up to his arrest.

Corpening was taken to the emergency room for an evaluation and said he had lost his temper, authorities said.

In 2011, a judge declared a mistrial in the case after jurors failed to reach a verdict.

Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook said she appreciates the work of Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Suneson in preparing the case for trial and the thorough investigation conducted by the Salisbury Police Department.

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