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Memphis man convicted of stealing a car, getting into shootout with the owner

35-year-old Johnathan James Lee was convicted of attempted murder and motor vehicle theft Friday after shooting the car's owner in the head and back.
Credit: Shelby County Jail

MILLINGTON, Tenn. — A car burglar who got into a gunfight with the vehicle’s owner has been convicted of attempted murder, burglary of a motor vehicle and other felony counts, the Shelby County District Attorney said Monday.

A Criminal Court jury convicted Jonathan James Lee, 35, of Memphis, on attempted first-degree murder, employment of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony, two counts of burglary of a motor vehicle, and theft of property over $1,000.

Lee is in the Shelby County Jail awaiting sentencing next month.

According to sheriff’s deputies, Lee was breaking into a vehicle around 11:40 p.m. on Jan. 14, 2019, parked outside a residence on Covington Pike Road in Millington when the homeowners noticed him.

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A woman there called 911 while her husband armed himself and went outside to confront Lee who gotten back into his own vehicle and began shooting through a rolled-down window. He got out and continued shooting.

The 56-year-old homeowner was shot in the right eye and in the back, but managed to return fire, striking Lee in the stomach. Lee managed to drive away, but his car got stuck in the mud at an area construction zone.

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He was arrested by deputies a short time later walking down Highway 14 near Covington Pike. Lee was treated at a hospital and then taken to jail.

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