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Teen gets two decades for attempted murder

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer

A second teen involved in a high-speed chase through Lincoln and two other counties this past fall is headed to state prison.
Brandon Bridges, 19, of Little River, S.C., received five consecutive sentences Tuesday in a Gaston County Superior courtroom, the Clerk of Court’s Office said.
He pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder, firing into an occupied vehicle and assault on a government official.
A judge ordered Bridges serve between 240 and 345 months in a state correctional facility for his felony convictions.
He and his friend Dakota Sweat, 18, who also pleaded guilty in the case on May 6, led police from various local law enforcement agencies on a chase through Gaston, Lincoln and Catawba Counties in November.
The incident began in Stanley after an area witness called the local police department about two men shooting guns in the area.
The chase quickly moved from Gaston County into Lincoln County, where deputies and Lincolnton police took over the pursuit and followed Bridges and Sweat down U.S. 321 toward Maiden.
While in Lincoln County, the suspects shot multiple times at a deputy’s patrol vehicle following closely behind them. The deputy sustained no injuries in the shooting.
The suspects later crashed near N.C. 10 in Catawba County, where police said the teens immediately jumped from their vehicle and tried to flee the scene. Catawba County officers quickly apprehended them.
Sweat’s plea deal consolidated his two counts of attempted murder into one, giving him a sentence of between 157 and 201 months behind bars, the Gaston County Clerk of Court’s Office said.
Additional charges against him included felony speeding to elude arrest and discharging a firearm into occupied property along with misdemeanor offenses of assault on a government official, driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving, hit-and-run property damage and two counts of aggressive driving.
According to the Brunswick County Clerk of Court’s Office, Bridges also faces felony charges for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, first-degree burglary, larceny after breaking and entering and robbery with a dangerous weapon. The charges stem from warrants officers served him in November.

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