BRIGG PIERSON

A man who shot two law enforcement officers — including a Houston native — was sentenced to 320 years in prison on Thursday.

James Cummings was sentenced to four life sentences for four counts of first-degree assault of  law enforcement officers and four 50-year sentence for four counts of armed criminal action.

On Aug. 16, 2019, Cummings shot at four law enforcement officers, including Carter County Deputy Brigg Pierson, a Houston High School graduate, during an eviction removal. 

Two officers from Carter County and two officers from Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to the Carter County property Cummings was occupying.  He had previously been evicted from this property but refused to leave.  The officers were court ordered to remove Cummings from the property. 

Rather than voluntarily leaving, Cummings fired five shots at the officers with a SKS rifle.  Two officers were struck by gunfire, one of which, Pierson, was struck multiple times and almost died. 

A jury returned guilty verdicts on all eight counts on July 15, 2022.

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