‘That’s not right,’ family rallies behind shooting victim upset with suspect’s bond amount

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) –  A delivery route turns potentially deadly.
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office says a man shot at a woman and her boyfriend Sunday morning while they were simply trying to do their job.

Now that victim is speaking out, saying she is in fear for her family’s safety and not happy with the outcome so far.

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“He said he was going to kill me, he shot his gun,” said Sharonda James.

James says she almost lost her life Sunday morning.

“When I first noticed what it was I panicked because I saw that it was a gun and said ‘he has a gun'”



Her boyfriend Jerry was with her helping her deliver papers. They were making their way down Normandy Drive when she says William Hovatter was standing in the middle of the road. There’s a bullet hole now on her car bumper after she says Hovatter starting shooting at them.

“I’ve seen plenty of black men do the same thing and this, the investigations was nothing like this,” said James.

James says deputies told her that Hovatter had accused them of attempting to steal his bike. When the investigation ended Hovatter was arrested, he charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor. One was for having a firearm as a convicted felon. The DA telling us that conviction came in 2010 on drug charges.

The next felony was discharging a gun into an occupied car. According to state records,
that felony is considered a Class D felony. The state lists the suggested bonds be set no lower than $15,000 in a case involving that kind of level felony.

Hovatter’s bond was set at $10,000.

“This is not right, it’s not done right and it should be looked into,” said Denise Barnes, James’ relative.

“His gun got jammed, and if did not get jammed, he probably would have killed me,” James added. “I feel like his bond should have been way higher than that.”

James was told that Hovatter was out on bond. The Sheriff’s office confirmed that was true.
James says she has not slept since it happened. Now she and her family want answers.

WWAY’s Andrew James reached out the district court who signed off on the bond. The clerk there told him bonds vary per case and per evidence. We are waiting to hear back from the judge on their reasoning behind this bond amount.