Terri Cullens (Jail photo)
WACO (July 27, 2012)—A woman who pleaded guilty to shooting her friend in the head last December outside Gholson was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in state prison.
Judge Matt Johnson ordered Terri Leann Cullens, 38, to begin her state prison sentence after she completes a 10-year federal prison sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The stacked sentences mean Cullens won’t be eligible for parole for 18 years.
Cullens admitted she shot Karen Sue Bettge while Cullens and Bettge were riding together in a car.
A McLennan County sheriff's deputy was dispatched Dec. 11 to the Gholson Store at the intersection of Gholson Road and Wildcat Circle in response to the report of the shooting.
Bettge was inside the store where Gholson volunteer firefighters were treating her for a head wound, an arrest affidavit says.
She told deputies she and Cullens were riding in a car when she suddenly felt a pain in the back of her head and realized she had been shot, the affidavit says.
Witnesses said she walked into the store and told employees she had been shot, the affidavit says.
Bettge was taken to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center where she was treated for her injury and later released.
Deputies arrested Cullens after interviewing witnesses including one who drove up on the car in which the two women were riding, the affidavit said.
The witness told deputies Bettge "was screaming for help and attempted to open her car door," but that Cullens told her not to get involved, ordering her to "leave or I will do something to you," the affidavit says.
The witness drove to the Gholson store and called 911.
Deputies recovered a .32 caliber semi-automatic handgun.
Cullens told deputies at the time the gun discharged accidentally, the affidavit says.