The jury in the Wake County trial of Justin Bass, a 25-year-old Fuquay-Varina man who shot a neighborhood bully during a late-night July 4 gathering, issued a not guilty verdict for attempted murder.
The jury did, however, convict Bass for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury—a lesser charge of the second offense he’d been accused of: assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
Bass was sentenced to two-and-a-half to four years in prison, with credit for 155 days of time served.
During the week-long trial, Bass testified that he shot the bully, Justin Fogg, a 27-year-old former mixed martial arts fighter known to police by the street name Bam-Bam, in self-defense after Fogg reached for his knife during an argument. The shooting occurred at Fuquay-Varina’s Bay Tree apartments.
The week before the shooting, Fogg had punched Bass in the face three times, breaking his jaw in two places, during another late-night confrontation at Bay Tree. The prosecution had argued that Bass plotted to murder Fogg in an act of revenge for embarrassing him in front of his friends.
Fogg had a reputation in the community for violent and aggressive behavior—a point the jury was permitted to consider during their deliberation.