Man gets 12 years in fatal 2010 shooting

Thompson White

A street fight cut short one life and dramatically altered another the moment one man went into his home to retrieve a gun.

Thompson White, 52, fired a rifle at 45-year-old Eugene "Lamar" Evans shortly after 9 p.m. Sept. 21, 2010, striking Evans once in the face. Evans died before rescue workers arrived, and White pleaded guilty Tuesday to voluntary manslaughter.

A judge sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

Attorneys for both sides said White and his girlfriend squabbled that evening and that three men, including Evans, arrived at White's Nunan Street home and assaulted him. White went inside and came out with a .22-caliber rifle.

He fired four rounds, including one that hit Evans in the face, according to a police report. Evans ran down Nunan Street and collapsed near Rutledge Avenue.

Investigators found three spent .22-caliber casings and one live round, the report said. It also said White left behind a blue ball cap and eyeglasses.

He later surrendered to police.

White's defense attorney, Andy Savage, noted that investigators only found his client's blood at the scene.

"He went back inside and got his gun to protect himself," Savage said.

He emphasized that White shot Evans in the face, not the back.

"It's just a tragic situation," Savage said. "It never should have occurred. He wishes to this day he had stayed in his house and called the police."

Assistant Solicitor Chad Simpson said the 12-year sentence reflected the difference between self-defense and homicide.

"The warning shots worked," Simpson said, explaining that Evans ran down Nunan Street and the other men down Ashley Avenue, but that White shot again. "What was particularly telling is that the evidence would show there was quite some distance between Mr. White and Lamar Evans."

Simpson said White must serve 85 percent of the sentence, or more than 10 years in prison.

Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or on Twitter at @allysonjbird.