A 46-year-old Rankin man was been sentenced Friday to 39 years in prison for shooting his former father-in-law year. Vernon Scott Lee had no comment in court before Circuit Judge Thomas O’Shaughnessy handed down the sentence.
Lee pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder for the shooting of 65-year-old Donald Frazier of rural Rankin. Several other charges in the bizarre hostage-situation were dismissed in exchange for the guilty plea.
Lee had also been charged for allegedly shooting 35-year-old Jeffrey Turner in the November 2015 incident.
Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn had said a domestic dispute apparently triggered the incident.
Sheriff’s Deputies found that Donald Frazier and Jeffrey Turner had both been shot several times when they arrived at a residence in northwest Vermilion County.
Donald Frazier is the father of Lee’s estranged wife, Emily Lee. Turner was Emily Lee’s boyfriend.
The episode unfolded after Lee was given a ride by a friend to the victim’s house in rural Rankin. There, Frazier was shot and tied up by Lee. Police said Lee then waited for Frazier’s wife to return home. Sharon Frazier was then forced to lure her daughter, Emily and her
boyfriend, Turner, to the home with a text message.
Police reports stated Sharon Frazier and her daughter were not injured. They contacted police after Lee fled in a stolen vehicle. Lee was later taken into custody at his Rankin home after he shot himself.
All the shooting victims have since recovered.