COVINGTON, Ga. – Jimquez Swiney was sentenced to 20 years in prison plus probation in Newton County Superior Court on Thursday morning for shooting his wife inside a Covington grocery store last year.
Swiney, 34, pleaded guilty in May to multiple charges including criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault/family violence, five counts of aggravated assault and six counts of possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.
Swiney was arrested by Covington police May 30, 2017, after shooting his wife inside the deli section of the Ingles on Turner Lake Road where she worked. According to court arguments during his plea hearing two months ago, Swiney believed his wife was cheating on him with a co-worker. He was reportedly off of his mental health medications when he went to the store to talk to her.
After she allegedly said disrespectful things to him, he pulled a handgun from his book bag and pointed it at her head before shooting her in the arm. He then reportedly went looking for the co-worker but was unable to find him. He pointed the weapon at multiple witnesses and asked “Do y’all want some?” before running from the store.
The victim was transported to a local hospital.
Police caught up with Swiney on Capes Drive Northwest after he was seen by a citizen trying to break into a house. He was arrested without incident after officers spotted hiding him behind a tree. The gun he used in the shooting was reportedly found nearby.
Swiney was judged competent to stand trial in February after a mental health evaluation by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.
In court Thursday, his attorney Judy Kim told Alcovy Judicial Circuit Chief Judge John M. Ott that her client has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. She told Ott that Swiney is now taking his medications and is remorseful about the shooting before asking for a sentence of no more than 10 years in prison.
Ott responded, “Pointing a gun and threatening to shoot other individuals calls for a stiff sentence.”
“While I can be sympathetic to the defendant and his family, I’ve got to be concerned about the public,” he said.
Ott sentenced Swiney to 30 years on the attempted murder charge, with the first 20 years to be served in prison and the remaining 10 years on probation. On other charges, Swiney was sentenced to an additional 10 years on probation with that sentence to run consecutively to the first 10 years for a total of 20 years on probation. The sentence also included fines and special conditions.