Shooting Suspect Sentenced To Federal Prison

A Johnston County man has been sentenced to more than 16 years in federal prison for shooting his daughter’s boyfriend 7 times with a rifle last year.

On August 11, 2016, Johnston County deputies responded to a shooting at 60 Waymon Way off Hood Farm Road, southwest of Clayton. They found the victim, 36 year-old Alex Ortiz had been shot multiple times with a .22 caliber rifle including wounds to his thigh, head, back, arm, torso and chest. Ortiz was rushed to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery and survived.

The suspect, Joseph Kelvin Aberant, 60, of the same address, had already fled but was arrested a short time later following a brief car chase.

Aberant was originally arrested on state charges, but in March 2017 was indicted by a federal grand jury. In July, Aberant pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a felon, and knowingly making a false and fictitious statement to a firearms dealer.  He was sentenced Oct. 20th.

Sheriff’s investigators located the rifle used in the shooting, which had an empty magazine and a bag of ammunition, in the field across the street from the residence.  Authorities allege Aberant’s wife, Marie Aberant, purchased the firearm earlier that day for her husband, who was a felon.

During the car chase Joseph Aberant drove through the yards of multiple residential properties, including one where young children were outside, struck a bush and a fence with his vehicle, and reached speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. After being stopped,he declined to make a statement to investigators.

Aberant was sentenced to 16 years 8 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised released.

The case was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative which encourages federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified “team effort” against gun crime, targeting repeat offenders who continually plague their communities.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the criminal investigation of this case. Assistant United States Attorney Peggah B. Wilson handled the prosecution of this case for the government.