Man Sentenced in Christmas Eve Shooting Near Wentzville
Sentencing hearing was held Monday morning in St. Charles Circuit Court.
Paul J. Morrison, the O'Fallon man alleged to have shot his estranged wife's boyfriend on Christmas Eve morning was sentenced this morning.
Morrison, 45, was originally charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm. He pled guilty to second-degree assault, a Class C felony, on Sept. 19.
Morrison also pled guilty Monday to a second charge of manufacturing an illegal substance (methamphetamine), a Class B felony. That charge stems from a Sept. 7 arrest.
St. Charles Circuit Judge Nancy L. Schneider sentenced Morrison to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for the assault and 10 years for the drug charge. His sentences are to run concurrently.
Morrison also was sentenced to 120 days of either drug treatment in a determined facility or 120 days of shock prison time.
Christmas Eve Shooting
Police say the shooting occurred before 5 a.m. Friday, Dec. 24, 2010, just outside Wentzville.
Lt. Craig McGuire of the St. Charles County Sheriff's Department told Patch at the time of the shooting that Morrison gave investigators a statement implicating himself in the crime.
The man shot was Dennis Vehlewald, 42.
McGuire said when deputies arrived on the scene Vehlewald was coherent and could speak with authorities. The shooting occurred at Sunbrite Christmas Tree Farm, where Morrison lived and worked.
Vehlewald told deputies he and his girlfriend, along with another male friend, had been Christmas shopping in the early morning hours. As they pulled into the long driveway upon arriving at the girlfriend's home, her husband drew a gun on the pickup truck carrying the trio.
McGuire said Vehlewald was shot through the passenger side window and hit in the back of the head and side of the face as the pickup truck was pulling away.
The victim's male friend was behind the wheel, and the woman was sitting between them. No one else was injured.