Fall River Shooting Defendant Sentenced to State Prison

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced today that a Fall River man was sentenced to serve five to seven years in state prison for a March 2015 non-fatal shooting in the city.

Christopher Swindell, 22, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Fall River Superior Court to charges of assault and battery with a firearm, carrying an illegal firearm, carrying  a loaded illegal firearm, and assault and battery.

The “unagreed plea” was submitted to Judge William Sullivan, who heard arguments from both sides during the plea hearing. Assistant District Attorney Patrick Driscoll, who prosecuted the case, argued for a 10-12 year state prison sentence, while the defendant’s counsel recommended a sentence of three to five years in prison.

After hearing from both attorneys, Judge Sullivan sentenced Mr. Swindell to serve five to seven years in state prison. He also placed the defendant on supervised probation for three years. The probationary term will not begin until the defendant is released from prison.

On March 3, 2015 around 6 p.m., Fall River Police were called to a shooting at the Maple Gardens Housing Development.  When officers arrived they were directed to the victim who had been shot in the abdomen and was bleeding profusely.  The victim told officers the defendant shot him.  The victim was treated and taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where he spent a week recovering.  Witnesses on scene, including a second victim, told officers the two victims had tried to talk to the defendant to calm him down after a fight with his girlfriend. The defendant had began yelling at his girlfriend because she allowed the two victims to help her shovel out her car.  The Defendant answered the door with a gun in hand and shot the first victim.  The second victim wrestled with the Defendant to get the gun away from him, and the Defendant hit him and pointed the gun at him, but then fled the scene.

Officers apprehended the defendant a short time later after he was seen running through a snow storm wearing no shoes, Officers later located the firearm used near a trash can.

Gregg Miliote
Director of Communications