Lufkin man gets 8 years for shooting 'Bull' - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin man gets 8 years for shooting 'Bull'

James Shires. (Source: Angelina County Jail.) James Shires. (Source: Angelina County Jail.)

A Lufkin man avoided a jury trial Wednesday, instead pleading guilty to shooting a man in the buttocks and accepting an eight-year prison sentence.

James Brent Shires, 22, accepted the plea deal in District Judge Barry Bryan's courtroom on Tuesday. He also accepted a concurrent eight-year and a one-year sentence on theft charges.

"It was just to avoid the uncertainty. He was facing a second degree charge that carries two to 20 years in the penitentiary. And, so he decided he could live with the offer they made," said Shires' attorney, Scott Tatum.

Shires waived his rights less than 24 hours before his trial was scheduled to begin.

"We'd already picked a jury. The courthouse steps have caused many a legal dispute to settle," said Tatum.

"I figure if I had went to trial, I would have gotten more than eight years," said Shires.

Shires is accused of shooting James Edwin "Bull" Durham, 39, of Lufkin, in the buttocks with a shotgun after Durham began fighting with a companion of Shires'.

Shires says he showed up to Durham's mother's home with plans to scare James Durham. He says his intent was never to shoot him.

"He called me on my phone. And, he told me that he was going to come to my house in the middle of the night and take my son and kidnap him, take him off and kill him. That's all I remember. Next thing I remember is shooting him," said Shires.

However, Durham believes Shires showed up with the intent to kill.

"I don't know why this man has come after me the way he has. I just hope one day God reaches the boy," said Durham.

Either way, Shires believes the shooting taught Durham a valuable lesson about threatening others. A lesson, he says, was worth teaching.     

"I can't really say that I would change anything because I didn't have any intentions of going over there and shooting him. It just kind of happened," said Shires.

Durham now resides in the Teague prison unit, where he uses a colostomy bag.

Durham was taken to the Angelina County Jail last week so that he could testify in the trial, which was scheduled to begin Wednesday.

Durham is serving 20- and five-year prison sentences on several charges, including evading arrest, arson and meth charges. He has been booked into the Angelina County Jail more than 35 times since 1996.

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