FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - March 14, 2011
INMATE PLEADS GUILTY TO CHARGES INVOLVING THE ATTACK ON
A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that on March 11, 2011, in federal court in the Middle District of North Carolina, CHRISTOPHER O’NEAL PATTERSON, pled guilty before United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard to assault of a federal officer/employee, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 111.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on November 30, 2010.
On August 31, 2009, PATTERSON was charged in a 14-count Superseding Indictment in the Middle District of North Carolina with armed bank robberies and firearms-related offenses. Pursuant to a plea agreement, PATTERSON pled guilty. On October 14, 2010, a sentencing hearing was held at the Hiram H. Ward Federal Building, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As the sentencing hearing adjourned, in which PATTERSON received 744 months’ imprisonment for the offenses, PATTERSON, in full restraints due to security concerns, stood and walked towards the inmate exit. As he passed the prosecution table, he lunged towards the Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) who had been prosecuting the case, striking the AUSA with his body and spitting in the AUSA’s face. PATTERSON was quickly tackled to the ground and subdued by Marshals and other law enforcement officers.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina has been recused from the case and Assistant United States Attorney Toby Lathan from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina has been assigned.
At sentencing, set for June 17, 2011, PATTERSON faces up to eight years’ imprisonment followed by up to three years’ supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Marshals Service.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.