Timothy D. Reels Jr. sentenced to 4 1/2 to 7 years for 2016 shooting

A Havelock man will serve up to seven years in prison for shooting his landlord in 2016.

Timothy D. Reels Jr., 28, pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon just prior to the start of his trial this week in Craven County Superior Court, according to a release from the office of District Attorney Scott Thomas. Reels, a convicted sex offender, also pleaded guilty to failing to notify the sheriff’s office of an earlier address change.

Superior Court Judge Charles Henry sentenced Reels to consecutive terms of 38 to 58 months, followed by 15 to 27 months, for a total sentence of 53 to 85 months, or about 4 1⁄2 to seven years, according to the release. The judge also ordered Reels to undergo psychological testing and therapy while in prison.

Reels was renting a trailer at a mobile home park at 932 Sunset Drive, Lot F, in Havelock. A dispute arose between Reels and his landlord over the utilities, the condition of the trailer and unpaid rent, according to the release. The landlord, who was not identified, came to the trailer around 5 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2016, to make sure that Reels had moved out, and the two confronted each other and began to fight.

Reels pulled out a .380 caliber handgun, and the landlord pushed him away, turning to run out of the trailer. Reels fired twice, striking the victim in the leg and the arm, fracturing one of the bones in his forearm, according to the release. The landlord ran a few doors down and a neighbor called 911 while trying to render first aid. The landlord was transported to CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern and then sent to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville for surgery, according to the release.

Reels fled in a car, and wound up at the Sunset Inn on Nunn Street in Havelock. His movements were tracked because he was on a GPS ankle bracelet as part of his probation for an earlier Carteret County conviction, according to the release. While in the car, being driven to the motel, Reels texted a girlfriend that he had just shot someone.

Reels was taken into custody without incident.

Assistant District Attorney Robert J. McAfee prosecuted the case. The Craven County Sheriff’s Office investigated, with help from the Havelock and New Bern police departments.