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Couple arrested in fast-food shooting with criminal pasts

People with previous criminal records who commit new crimes are less likely to receive clemency during new trials. Although it is not clear whether a Wichita couple will go to jury trial in connection with alleged criminal activities, their previous history of felonies may impact their upcoming court proceedings.

Two people were arrested in connection with a shooting at a local McDonald's drive-through on Jan. 9, according to local media outlets. No one was injured during the incident, though the 45-year-old driver of the car said the shotgun pellets came dangerously close to striking the vehicle's occupants. Not only did the man shoot at the car, but a woman who was with him is also accused of throwing a tire iron at the vehicle. The violence erupted after the suspects reportedly cut in line at the McDonald's drive-through, according to witnesses at the scene.

The pair has a significant criminal rap sheet that could influence sentencing if they are found guilty on pending charges. The 24-year-old man had been imprisoned on counts of misdemeanor battery, while the 27-year-old woman has a felony record for drug possession. He was released in October, while she was freed from her most recent prison stint in September 2011. The pair was reportedly engaged and living together in a friend's basement, according to authorities.

Even though past criminal records should not have a significant bearing on new cases, it is possible that the pair will see more prison time if they are convicted of the most recent allegations. The man has been listed as a violent offender in the state of Kansas, according to media reports, which may make prosecutors less likely to offer satisfactory plea bargains.

Charges have not yet been filed in the case, so potential prison sentences are still unknown.

Source: The Wichita Eagle, "Couple arrested in McDonald's shooting both felons; man accused of racial violence in 2010," Tim Potter & Stan Finger, Jan. 10, 2013.

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