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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Felon Who Shot At Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Sentenced To Serve 210 Months In Prison

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On Jul. 7, 2014, Derrick Dakota Kitzmiller, 22, of Gray, Tenn., was sentenced to serve 210 months in prison by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Judge. Kitzmiller pleaded guilty in February 2014, to a federal grand jury indictment charging him with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

During the sentencing hearing Judge Greer found that Kitzmiller used firearms purchased in December 2012 to shoot at a Tennessee State Trooper in January 2013, in Washington County, Tenn. Jennifer Russell, who was also present at the shootout, pleaded guilty to buying the guns for Kitzmiller and is awaiting sentencing on August 4, 2014. Kitzmiller still faces related charges in the Criminal Court of Washington County, Tenn.

The indictment and subsequent conviction of Kitzmiller was the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and Tennessee Highway Patrol Criminal Investigation Division (THP-CID). Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Reeves represented the United States.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian praised the investigative work of the ATF and THP-CID in this case. “This case highlights the dangers faced by law enforcement officers as a result of felons possessing firearms. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to aggressively prosecute individuals who possess firearms illegally. We are all grateful that the state trooper involved in this incident was not killed or seriously injured,” stated Killian.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws. It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences. PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community faces.

Updated March 18, 2015