A woman who pleaded guilty to firing several shots into a packed car outside an Augusta nightclub earlier this year has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Neisheena Griffin, 30, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to five counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
The shooting outside the Edge Nightclub on March 1 followed an argument just after 1 a.m. between Griffin and five others inside the venue. Before the altercation could escalate further, both parties involved were ordered by the club staff to leave, investigators said.
After exiting the club, Griffin went to her car, drew a loaded pistol and opened fire on the other party's vehicle as they tried to leave, police said.
One of the occupants of the car, 25-year-old Jaelynn Huff, suffered a single gunshot wound to the head but survived.
At least one other person was injured, police said.
A grand jury indicted Griffin on May 7 for the shooting, Richmond County court records show.
Assistant District Attorney Gregory Mark said it was a miracle that no one was killed.
Huff said she barely knew Griffin. Before the shooting, Huff had just gotten a new job and was looking forward to celebrating her birthday. She was at the club with friends and family on the night she was struck by a bullet.
The shooting left Huff in a coma, and she underwent numerous surgeries for weeks afterward. She now has to use a tracheotomy tube to breathe, family said. As recently as Thursday, Huff was in surgery again. The bullet remains lodged in her brain, she wrote in a victim impact statement, which was read by her aunt in open court.
Griffin, who had no prior criminal history, apologized Friday before she was sentenced.
"I'm not the monster they're painting me out to be," she said.
Griffin’s defense attorney, Lucy Bell, asked for leniency, saying Griffin wanted to apologize to Huff but that she was instructed not to have any contact with the victims.
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