AUBURN — A Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to two felonies stemming from an early morning shooting last summer in the stairwell of a downtown Lewiston apartment building.

James L. Crump, 41, of Dorchester admitted Thursday in Androscoggin County Superior Court to illegal possession of a firearm and reckless conduct, both Class C felonies and each punishable by up to five years in prison.

He was sentenced to five years in prison on each felony count; a judge suspended two years of that time, leaving three years for Crump to serve. After his release from prison, he will be on probation for a year, the judge ordered.

Crump agreed to the sentence on the day he was scheduled to pick a jury for trial.

Prosecutors dismissed a charge of attempted elevated aggravated assault.

As part of the plea agreement, Crump gave to the state his .45-caliber pistol. He may not have any firearms in the future as a convicted felon.

During his probation, he must not have any illegal drugs nor dangerous weapons and will be subject to random search and testing.

He also must have no contact with three men connected to the shooting incidents.

Police said in an affidavit that Crump, also known as “Jynx,” had fired shots from a .44-caliber handgun at Quentaris Leonard in the stairwell at 135.5 Bartlett St. at about 6 a.m. July 7. Crump appeared to have fired shots from the second story in the direction of the third floor and into the apartment on that floor.

Police found bullet holes in the third-floor apartment door where a second suspect, Leonard, was living. There were also bullet holes in wallboard and a window sill in that apartment, according to the affidavit.

Shell casings from a smaller-caliber gun were found on the third-floor landing, apparently deposited there as the shooter fired downward to the second-floor landing, police wrote in the affidavit.

Tenants on the second floor told police they called 911 after hearing the shots. Bullets fired from outside their apartment appeared to have pierced their walls and lodged in their ceiling. They had two children in their apartment at the time of the shooting.

Leonard told police he was a drug dealer and a member of the Bloods gang. Police seized a small bag of cocaine in his apartment.

In the affidavit, police said they believe Leonard fired shots from a .40-caliber handgun from the third-floor landing in the direction of the second floor.

He told police he had been at a social club the night before with a wad of cash in his wallet. Back at his apartment building, a man asked him if he wanted to buy some cocaine. The man returned later with Crump, Leonard said.

David Levesque, the detective who filed the affidavit, wrote that “several pieces of Leonard’s story did not make sense.”

Crump told police he had attended a party at Leonard’s apartment, where he and another man began to fight. Crump said at least two shots were fired during the fight, but he did not see a gun or know who had fired the shots.

Leonard had told everyone at the party to leave his apartment. Crump asked if he could return to buy marijuana from Leonard. He was told he could. When he came back and knocked on Leonard’s door, he was told to leave again and come back another time. As he retreated, Crump said he passed a man who was climbing the stairs to the third floor.

Crump, who police said changed his story several times, said he was outside the building when he heard shots fired.

Police wrote in the affidavit, “It is highly likely Leonard was correct in believing “PZ” and Crump wanted to steal his three pounds of marijuana from him.” The man identified in the affidavit as “PZ” had not been charged in the shooting.

[email protected]

James Crump (Androscoggin County Jail photo)

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: