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Husband sent to prison for ramming, shooting at wife

A 60-year-old Arden man received a prison sentence of more than 13 years after a jury convicted him on Friday on a charge of attempted first degree murder, District Attorney Greg Newman announced.

A Henderson County jury deliberated for about four hours after hearing evidence from both the State and defendant for three days.  Superior Court Judge William Coward sentenced Killian to 13 years and 6 months in prison.  Killian will be eligible for release upon serving 10 years and 3 months.

Assistant District Attorney Doug Mundy presented evidence that on Dec. 15, 2017, at approximately 2:45 p.m.,  Killian and his wife, Katrina Killian, ended a meeting at a local insurance office near Fanning Fields Road in Mills River.  According to witness statements from the insurance office, there was a noticeable tension between the couple.  Everyone there knew they were separated.  Following the meeting, the defendant sat in his truck and waited for his wife to get into her car.  After a heated verbal exchange in the parking lot,  Ms. Killian got into her car and pulled out to leave. The defendant followed Ms. Killian into the road, ramming the rear of her vehicle and forcing her off the road.  The defendant  exited his truck and took a handgun and approached her car. Killian sped away at a high rate of speed and several people witnessed the defendant shoot at least six shots at his wife’s moving car.

Killian chased his wife in his truck as they both turned onto Boylston Highway.  He rammed her driver’s side door.  While driving, Ms. Killian made made a frantic 911 call and Fletcher police officers and Henderson County sheriff’s deputies responded and helped the victim.  The law enforcement officers observed significant damage to her vehicle. 

The defendant was located  at his Arden residence where he barricaded himself inside the home and refused for several hours to submit to the custody of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department.  Police officers from Asheville and Fletcher were also present at the scene.  The standoff between the defendant and police ended peacefully close to midnight and Killian was taken into custody without further incident.  Killian was initially charged with assault with a deadly weapon with the Intent to Kill, but Newman recommended the charge of attempted murder and the Henderson County grand jury issued the indictment in March 2018.

“Clearly, this is not the way you handle your disputes with spouses or anyone else,” Newman said.  “To me, when I reviewed the facts with our sheriff’s department, Mr. Killian’s behavior supported the higher charge of attemped first degree murder.  It was not a close call.  Shooting a gun at a moving car in public could have had catastrophic consequences.  Mr. Killian is fortunate that a bullet did not strike his wife or someone else that just happened to be in that area around 3:00 p.m.  Otherwise, he would have been facing a different penalty all together.  We are fortunate that as disturbing as this situation was, it did not result in the loss of life,” added the District Attorney.

Killian, who was taken immediately into custody, gave notice of appeal.