100-year-old grandmother reacts to plea deal

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The 100-year-old Richmond grandmother shot by her grandson last summer spoke to NBC12 about Thursday's plea deal.  In Richmond court, Kevin McCray pleaded "no contest" to five charges and will spend five years in prison.

Kevin McCray spoke quietly. He was almost muttering responses to the judge. Both sides were reluctant to enter into a plea agreement. This is a complicated case, as the victim and defendant are close family members. McCray's grandmother told us she didn't want it to move forward.

Naomi Taggart sat in her South Richmond home Thursday, unaware the fate of her grandson, Kevin McCray, was being decided. The scar on her neck is the only proof of what happened when she was caught in the middle of a gun battle between her grandsons last summer. She had mixed emotions when we explained the plea deal agreed to in court.

"I don't know who shot me," she recalled. "So I don't know if Kevin shot me or not and I wouldn't want Kevin to pull no time for something he didn't do."

But she realized the punishment could've been much worse. At the time of the shooting, Kevin was already a convicted felon.

"He was looking for sixty," she said. "Five years isn't too bad."

Those five years are for five charges including malicious wounding and gun possession by a convicted felon. The term is less than the minimum recommended in the sentencing guidelines.

The agreement states back in July of last year, Kevin McCray shot at his brother Steven Taggart inside the home, then went outside and shot into the house on East 20th Street. We're told he was aiming for his brother but hit his grandmother.

"At that time I said 'y'all done shot me,'" Taggart recalled. "He said 'mama you been shot?' I said 'call an ambulance!' 'Grandma you been shot?' I said 'call an ambulance!' I don't know who shot me! The shot came from outside. That's all I can tell you."

That recollection is the reason both the prosecution and defense agreed to a plea deal.

"It could have gone his way," defense attorney Charles Homiller told us after the hearing. "It could have gone Mr. Johnson's way. Simply, it was too much of a risk."

Neither knew how a jury would take the fiery grandmother's testimony on the stand.

"Our hands are a little bit tied," prosecutor Andy Johnson explained. "I felt like we got as much as we could out of this case."

McCray was charged with the attempted murder of his brother and a related gun count. The commonwealth's attorney decided not to move forward with prosecution of those counts.

Stephen Taggart was originally charged with malicious wounding in the incident, but that was dropped. He still faces drug charges, in an unrelated case.

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