BEAUMONT, Texas — A Port Arthur man, who changed his plea to guilty for shooting a woman in the face just before his trial on the charges began in July, has been sentenced.
John Fitzgerald Rice was sentenced Monday by 252nd District Court Judge Raquel West to 10 years in prison as part of the plea deal. She could have sentenced him to 12 years.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video first aired in July 2023.)
Rice will not be able to appeal the sentence because it was part of a plea deal and once released from prison he will not be allowed to own a gun according to testimony on Monday.
He could have faced from two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if a jury had found him guilty of aggravated assault for shooting a woman in the face in March 2022.
On March 1, 2022 Shaquitta Hill accused Rice of shooting her in the face during an argument.
On the day of the shooting Hill was trying to defuse a fight outside her neighbor’s house when a man pulled out a gun and shot her she told 12News.
Hill previously told 12News that the shooting impacts her everyday life.
“I've just been traumatized by it,” Hill said. “I can't sleep. When I work, if somebody drops something, it scares me. I try to go home because I need to be somewhere where I feel safe.”
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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.