Columbus man sentenced for attempted murder of Phenix City polic - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Columbus man sentenced for attempted murder of Phenix City police officers

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Robert Lorenzo Anderson was sentenced to 35 years for each of the two counts of attempted murder and six months for each of the two counts of menacing, with these sentences to run concurrently. (Photo: July 2013 crime scene / WRBL) Robert Lorenzo Anderson was sentenced to 35 years for each of the two counts of attempted murder and six months for each of the two counts of menacing, with these sentences to run concurrently. (Photo: July 2013 crime scene / WRBL)
July 2013 crime scene / WRBL file July 2013 crime scene / WRBL file
A Columbus man is being sentenced to 35 years in prison for attempting to murder two Phenix City police officers, Alabama state Attorney General Luther Strange announced Tuesday afternoon. Robert Lorenzo Anderson, 24, was found guilty last month following a two-day trail in Russell County Circuit Court.

On July 25, 2013, Phenix City police officers Ryan Anglin and Kilpatrick Thomas, among others, responded to a 911 call reporting gunfire at the Riverview Apartments. Police received a subsequent call telling where the suspect was in the building, and while searching that apartment, officers encountered a man fitting the suspect’s description who jumped out of a second-floor window and fled.

As officers Anglin and Thomas pursued, Anderson pointed a pistol at them and fired. After Officer Thomas called the shooting over the police radio, additional law enforcement officers arrived at the scene to help. One of these was Ray Rogers, a Phenix City building inspector who also is a sworn law enforcement officer. Rogers testified that as he rounded the corner of one of the apartment buildings, Anderson shot at him. Shortly thereafter, Investigator Thomas Franklin of the Russell County District Attorney’s Office, who was in his vehicle, saw Anderson running across a street. Anderson pointed his pistol at the investigator’s vehicle as if to shoot, but ran away when Franklin fired at him. Investigator Franklin pulled his vehicle alongside Anderson, who again pointed his gun at the vehicle. The investigator fired again, this time hitting Anderson in the leg, and Anderson was then apprehended.

The Attorney General’s Criminal Trials Division presented evidence at trial that included testimony of the victims who Anderson fired upon as well as a civilian eyewitness. Forensic evidence matched shell casings found on the scene to Anderson’s gun. Additionally, as Anderson was receiving treatment in an ambulance on the crime scene, he said “Give me a gun and I’d do it again,” according to Strange's office. He further stated to investigators that he had been in the apartment to sell drugs and admitted to firing his gun, but during interviews did not admit to shooting at the officers.

“It is right and important that this man will serve many years in prison,” said Attorney General Strange. “This sentence should serve as a warning that Alabama will not tolerate threats and assaults on our law enforcement officers, and those who do so will be held to account and face stern punishment.”

Anderson was sentenced to 35 years for each of the two counts of attempted murder and six months for each of the two counts of menacing, with these sentences to run concurrently.

James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

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