The girlfriend of the man charged with shooting a police officer at a Fort Mill home in January could get as much as five years in federal prison after she pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal charge of lying to police, allowing officers to walk into an ambush. That’s if Kirstie Barratt, 22, isn’t deported before or after she goes to prison.
Barratt’s lawyer, Julia Mimms, told federal judge Joseph Anderson that Barratt, who has been in jail since the January incident, might have already served enough jail time under federal sentencing guidelines. But Anderson countered that “it sounds pretty bad about letting law enforcement officers walk in there when there was a man with a gun.”
Barratt, born in the United Kingdom, will be sentenced by Anderson in about two months but faces potential deportation because of the felony conviction.
Shane Page, a 13-year veteran of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department who was part of a local, state and federal task force seeking James William Lewis, was shot by Lewis after walking into an upstairs bedroom, said federal prosecutor Stacey Haynes. Lewis was hiding in the corner of the room and shot Page, who returned fire and shot Lewis, Haynes said.
Lewis knew that police were seeking him and the duo agreed that he would hide in the attic, Haynes said. Barratt lied about Lewis being inside the house in the Foxwood neighborhood outside Fort Mill when the task force arrived, and only came to the door after police were outside for 15 minutes, said Haynes. Barratt claimed she hadn’t seen Lewis for weeks but allowed police to search the house, then officers went upstairs where a dog was barking inside a closed bedroom. Barratt was asked to secure the dog, and went in the room and out with the dog, closing the door again afterward, while never telling officers that Lewis was inside the bedroom.
When Page and other officers went in looking for Lewis, Lewis shot Page, Haynes said.
Both Page, shot in the shoulder and abdomen, and Lewis who was shot in the legs, were wounded but recovered.
Lewis, in a wheelchair, appeared in court Wednesday but his cases of allegedly shooting the officer and weapons violations in federal court in South Carolina remain pending. He has already pleaded guilty to a weapons charge in federal court in North Carolina stemming from the North Carolina robbery that he was being sought for at the time he allegedly shot the police officer.
Lewis would face a mandatory 25 years for the Fort Mill weapons charge, plus other sentences, if he is found guilty of the pending South Carolina federal charges. More, Lewis faces attempted murder and other charges in York County for the shooting that could carry as much as 30 years upon conviction.
Lewis’ lawyer, Kathy Evatt, a federal public defender, said in court Wednesday she is trying to have the federal charges combined and Lewis faces at least 32 years in prison if he pleads guilty.
Barratt still faces an obstruction charge in York County that could add to her time if she pleads guilty or is found guilty. Barratt refused to accept a federal plea deal that would have lessened her sentence if she cooperated with prosecutors against Lewis.