Man who fired warning shot continues sentence

Warning shots became legal in Florida a year ago


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After a 2008 altercation with his daughter's drug-using boyfriend, Orville Lee Wollard fired a warning shot into the wall. Charged with a crime, Wollard turned down five years of probation, went to trial and is instead serving a mandatory 20 years.

A year ago, warning shots became legal in Florida. Orville Wollard's case was even sited in the footnotes as a reason to change the law. His family came to the state Capitol to ask for his release.

"'You have five seconds to leave,' and my boyfriend just looked at him and smirked and thought it all was a big joke," said Orville Wollard's daughter, Sarah Wollard. "So my dad pointed the gun at the wall and shot into it, which was a few feet away from my boyfriend."

The recommendation by clemency staff was to deny. They found cocaine use in the 1990s, though there were never criminal charges filed.

The prosecutor said Orville Wollard was incapable of making good decisions.

"It was unnecessary, and I suggest it's not a murder charge by 3 or 4 inches," prosecutor Jerry Hill said.

"I deny commutation of sentence. When you read the record and there are things like domestic violence," Gov. Rick Scott said.

"And I'm just stunned and just crushed," said Orville Wollard's wife, Sandy Wollard.

Under certain published rules for someone seeking clemency, Orville Wollard must serve at least half his sentence before he can apply again. That would be in 2019.