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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Julia Coin

Suspect was out of jail on bond before NC shooting over stray ball in yard

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The North Carolina man police say shot at four neighbors — including a 6-year-old girl — was out on bail related to a previous arrest, according to jail records.

This week, Robert Louis Singletary, 24, was arrested after fleeing to Florida, police said. That was two days after he shot at a family in a Gaston County neighborhood on April 18, authorities have said. Witnesses have said the shooting started as kids were playing outside and a basketball rolled into Singletary’s yard.

At the time, Singletary was awaiting court action on an assault case, stemming from a December arrest, police statements and court records show.

Singletary’s bond was set at $250,000 after police arrested him for assaulting his 21-year-old girlfriend with a mini sledgehammer, according to a Gastonia Police news statement. But he didn’t pay any money to leave jail. He was released on an unsecured bond 13 days after the incident, the Gaston County Clerk of Courts office told The Charlotte Observer Friday.

Singletary in December was released through Gaston County’s pretrial release program, which allows defendants to get out of jail while waiting for a disposition of their criminal trials. According to state documents, judges must release inmates under this program unless there is evidence that the defendant will not appear at the next court date, will pose a danger of injury to another person or will destroy evidence or intimidate witnesses.

Singletary had not been arrested in North Carolina before the alleged December assault, according to jail databases.

In December, police said Singletary lived at an apartment on Armstrong Park Road. That’s around 15 minutes from the neighborhood where multiple people were shot.

Kinsley White, 6, was grazed by a bullet and is now home with a stitched left cheek, she and her family said.

Her father, Jamie White, ran to her aid and was shot in the back, according to The Associated Press, citing Kinsley’s grandfather and neighbor. He was still in the hospital Thursday, police said.

The girl’s mother, Ashley Hilderbrand, was grazed in the elbow, and another man was unscathed after being shot at.

Singletary fled the scene Tuesday night and turned himself in to Tampa, Florida, police Thursday evening, according to a Gaston County Police news release. A Florida judge Friday ruled authorities will take Singletary back to North Carolina this week and Singletary did not challenge extradition in his first hearing.


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