While Jimmy Terry fights for his life at a hospital in Modesto, his uncle Robert will not be charged with felony assault, as the District Attorney’s Office deemed he acted in self-defense when he shot his nephew in the stomach from 15 feet away Sunday.

Sheriff’s investigators are aware Jimmy Blake Terry, 25, suffered significant injuries and is expected to have an extended stay in the hospital, Calaveras County sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Hewitt said, adding the hospital has not released any further information.

According to sheriff’s reports, Terry, who is wanted for parole violations, confronted his uncle Robert at a home on the 1800 block of Rawhide Road in Arnold Sunday morning and the two started arguing about Terry’s suspicion his uncle was “ratting him out” for crimes committed in the area.

Hewitt said Terry could be involved in the rash of crimes plaguing Murphys over the past month, noting his “extensive history” with the Sheriff’s Office.

The argument between family members led to Robert grabbing a shotgun loaded with a shell containing rock salt instead of buck shot and telling Terry to leave the property.

Robert told sheriff’s investigators Terry charged him while threatening to kill him, which is when he shot his nephew in the stomach with rock salt.

“I didn’t want to kill Jimmy,” Robert told investigators. “I just wanted to scare him off.”

As of Thursday, Terry was still in the hospital receiving treatment for injuries caused by the gunshot wound. His prognosis was not released by the hospital as of press time.

After being shot with rock salt, Terry escaped the clutches of his grandfather, who was trying to hold him down until paramedics arrived, and fled the Arnold property in a black Audi four-door sedan driven by his girlfriend Crystal Towle, 24, of Murphys.

Soon after the Audi left the area, deputies arrived and arrested Robert on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon. He was held for several days in the Calaveras County Jail until sheriff’s investigators could deliver their reports to Seth Matthews, deputy district attorney. After reviewing the reports, Matthews decided it was “reasonable to believe” Robert acted in self-defense.”

Towle and Jimmy Terry were apprehended in Douglas Flat a short time after the shooting. Terry was given medical attention from paramedics and flown via air ambulance to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, where he is still being treated for his injuries. As of press time Thursday, Terry had yet to be arrested, because he has not been released from the hospital.

Hewitt said it’s likely the California Department of Corrections will take Terry into custody if he’s released from the hospital, due to his parole violations.

 Contact Joel Metzger at joel@calaverasenterprise.com

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