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Whirlygig windmill artist pleads no contest in shooting incident

North Carolina folk artist Vollis Simpson avoided a jail sentence after pleading no contest in a shooting on his property involving two teenage boys. The boys. seated in a truck driven by a third teen, were sprayed with birdshot from Simpson's shotgun during a confusing incident on June 21, 1998 near his sculpture garden. The boys claim they were attracted to the artwork, but reportedly rocks and firecrackers were being thrown by someone in the vicinity. The 80-year old Simpson, who claimed to have been victim of previous vandalism and assault, fired his 12-gauge shotgun -- in the air he claimed -- as a tactic to get away. The boys were injured by glass and pellets from the shots.

Simpson paid the boys' medical bills and for damage to the truck. Simpson's sentence was suspended for five years during which he can not possess a firearm and can be subjected to warrantless weapons search at any time.

Vollis Shop Rd, Lucama, NC
From Whirligig Park in Wilson, drive southeast on Goldsboro St. S. for 1.5 miles. Bear right at the stoplight onto US Hwy 301. Drive 1.5 miles. Just after the little bridge across Contentnea Creek, turn right onto Wiggins Mill Rd. Drive seven miles. When you reach the intersection of Willing Worker Rd/Vollis Shop Rd, look for the whirligigs.
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