The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

October 5, 2009

Man who shot Athens police officer sentenced to prison

The Athens police officer who was shot while responding to a domestic incident last year said he spent a lot of time second-guessing himself but, mainly, considers himself fortunate.

“I was very lucky,” said Lt. Trevor Harris. “It missed all of the organs. And although it went through, it didn’t cause me any disability. I went back to work a couple of weeks later. Although it was uncomfortable, I’m glad to be here.”

Harris talked about the shooting following Monday’s sentencing of the shooter.

James “Patrick” Toney, 40, of 1716 Lucas St. in Athens pleaded guilty Monday morning to one count of attempted murder and two counts of first-degree assault in the case, said District Attorney Kristi Valls.

Limestone County Circuit Judge Jimmy Woodroof Jr. sentenced Toney to 25 years for shooting Harris plus two concurrent 20-year sentences for shooting his former girlfriend, Stephanie Cosby, and her sister, Katie Cosby.

Both sisters were in agreement on the plea agreement and the sentences, Valls said.

“I was certainly satisfied with the sentences,” said Harris, who attended the sentencing along with his wife, Carol.

Toney will be taken to Kilby Correctional Facility in Montgomery, Valls said.

Toney surrendered to Athens Police following the shooting.

“It’s just one example of the dangers faced by officers and deputies every day,” Harris said.

He thanked his friends, family and even the total strangers who supported him after the shooting. He thanked the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department for working the crime scene that night and for putting so much effort into the investigation even though the case never went to trial. He also commended Valls and her office for doing an excellent job handling the case.

The shooting

Toney had gone to the home of his ex-girlfriend’s mother off Welch Drive to work on a car when the shooting occurred, Limestone County Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said at the time.

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