Friday, April 12, 2013 8:00 AM
Charge changes in shooting case
By Janet Conner-Knox | Times Staff Writer
A Nash County grand jury handed down a true bill of indictment against Tyler Pridgen this month in a controversial case that involves the shooting of a Wilson County woman.
Pridgen is now charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury in connection with the shooting of Leticia Anderson on Sept. 7.
Tyler Allen Pridgen, 21, of Hatcher Lane was originally arrested in September and charged with attempted second-degree murder, a charge that The Times learned doesn’t exist in North Carolina.
The case drew the attention of local NAACP leaders who questioned the charges in the case.
In the Nash County sheriff’s report, another man present during the shooting, Bradley Roger Parker, 25, of Sugar Hill Road outside Wilson, said he was standing with Pridgen when the shooting took place. Parker, who doesn’t face any charges in this case, said Anderson was on her motorcycle.
Parker provided law enforcement the account of what occurred the morning of the shooting.
The two had been drinking since 10 p.m. the night before while they were prepping a deer, according to the Nash County deputy’s incident report.
Parker said a motorcycle came screaming down the road between 5 and 5:30 a.m., the report states.
"Brad (Parker) then states that Tyler (Pridgen) fired the gun back to the south, possibly in the location where the girl and motorcycle were,” the report reads. "Brad stated that he was not exactly sure where the shot traveled, but it was very possible that it did strike the girl on the motorcycle.”
Pridgen threw the rifle in a field beside Parker’s garage, the report said.
For hours, Anderson actually thought a bike malfunction had caused her injury. She was told at the hospital a bullet responsible for the hole in her arm.
Anderson, who could not be reached, said previously she and her daughter lived in fear that something similar could happen again.
Patricia Pridgen, Tyler Pridgen’s mother, said in an earlier interview that this whole incident has been very hard on their whole family.
Tyler Pridgen, who is represented by Rocky Mount attorney Larry Gulley, is not permitted to speak about the case.
But Patricia Pridgen said her son is not taking what happened lightly and is remorseful. Patricia Pridgen said Anderson does not have to fear her son.
"Tyler does not carry a gun and he has never been out to show revenge to the young lady,” she has said. "Tyler is very, very sorry about the whole thing. He is working hard to move forward in his life.”
Patricia Pridgen said her son has not been taking it easy since the shooting.
"He works every day and he doesn’t go out often,” she said. "Tyler has to pay his own attorney’s fees.”
Patricia Pridgen said she even made him pay back the money with which she bonded him out of jail.
She said she does not believe her son ever said he was going to teach Anderson a lesson, a statement noted in police reports.
"He didn’t know what color she was or anything about her,” Patricia Pridgen told the Times. "And my son has never been much of a drinker.”
Patricia Pridgen said she also wishes she could talk to Anderson to let her know that they care about her and all she is going through.
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