Probation for Priest with Gun

Masterpiece Road Rage • Pete Slater • Flickr •

A North Carolina Episcopal priest has been sentenced to one year of probation after pleading no contest on Dec. 15 to charges that he displayed a handgun in a threatening manner in an encounter with another driver in Florida on July 5.

The Rev. William Rian Adam had been charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (without intent to kill), for which he could have faced five years in prison on each count.

Adams continues to serve as rector of Calvary Church in Fletcher, North Carolina, part of the Diocese of Western North Carolina. Calls to the church and diocese seeking comment were not returned.

Police said that Adams, driving a red Corvette, slammed on his brakes in front of a pickup truck on the Florida Turnpike near Palm City, 600 miles from Fletcher.

Sharon Hughes of St. Cloud, Florida, in audio segments of a 911 call that a Florida television station posted, pulled alongside and asked, “Why did you slam on the brakes? And he cursed me and everything and then he just pulled this gun out.”

In addition to the probation sentence, Adams was ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution to the Hughes family, and is forbidden to possess firearms during his probation, according to the online records of Martin County, Florida.

Kirk Petersen


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