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Press Release

Man Sentenced to 10-Year Statutory Maximum After Shooting Two People and Leaving One for Dead

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

WILMINGTON, N.C. – William Brian Coghill was sentenced this past Friday to 10 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release for possession of a firearm by a felon after shooting two acquaintances and leaving one for dead at his home in Oxford, North Carolina. This is the statutory maximum sentence available for this offense.  Coghill also pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree attempted murder in state court and was sentenced to 15 to 19 years.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, on August 14, 2021, Granville County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) responded to a 911 call regarding a gunshot victim located at Fredrick Road, Oxford, North Carolina. Upon GCSO’s arrival, the first victim, who had a gunshot wound to his right arm, advised that he had been at the residence next door when he was shot. He was then transported via EMS to a local hospital. As deputies tried to find a blood trail to ascertain the first victim’s direction of travel, they heard a male voice groaning from the front porch area of Coghill’s home that he shared with his mother. A second male victim was located on the porch, doubled over, writhing in pain. Victim two had two gunshot wounds to his lower right side/back area and the front lower left abdomen area. The second victim was transported via Life-Flight to a local hospital. 

Minutes after knocking at the doors and windows of the residence, Deputies were permitted inside by Coghill’s mother, and he was found hiding in the attic of the home with a shotgun. Deputies discovered two spent 9mm shell casings on the porch of the residence. Coghill’s mother later told deputies she witnessed her son take the shotgun in one hand, and a black pistol in his other hand, to the porch where the two victims were sitting and began pointing both the shotgun and the pistol at the victims. She stated that both victims begged Coghill not to shoot them. Coghill’s mother stated she was able to take the shotgun away from her son and took the shotgun to her bedroom. She returned to the porch and watched as her son pulled the trigger of the pistol, shooting the first victim, then turned the pistol toward the second victim, and fire again, striking him. Coghill then went into the house, turned out the lights, and forbid his mother from calling for help. The second victim spent several weeks in the hospital and was close to death at one point. He also underwent several surgeries.

Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II presided over the sentencing. Granville County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer May-Parker prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on our website. Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or PACER by searching for Case No. 5:22-CR-00030-M.


Updated January 18, 2023

Firearms Offenses