When Mark Childs saw his ex in a vehicle with a childhood friend, he confronted his friend, punched him through the driver’s window, and fired a handgun into the vehicle.
Jurors deliberated just under two hours Tuesday before finding Childs guilty as charged of burglary with assault or battery, criminal mischief, shooting into an occupied vehicle with a firearm, and attempted aggravated battery. Childs is facing a minimum of 20 years in prison and will be sentenced Dec. 18.
Assistant State Attorney Aaron Henry told jurors that Childs behaved like a jealous and enraged boyfriend upon learning his ex-girlfriend had begun dating Cory Bisbee, one of Childs’ childhood friends.
On December 16, 2017, Childs saw Bisbee’s truck pull up to an intersection and realized his ex was in the vehicle as well. Childs followed Bisbee to Walker Fence in Auburndale, got out of his truck, and approached Bisbee on foot.
Childs asked his ex to get out of Bisbee’s truck, and she refused.
Childs then reached through the open driver side window and punched Bisbee in the face, shattering his glasses and cutting his eye. Bisbee put his truck in reverse to leave the parking lot, and Childs grabbed at the vehicle, breaking the side mirror.
As Bisbee was pulling away, Childs retrieved a hand gun from the center console of his vehicle. He pointed the gun at Bisbee’s truck and fired a round into it.
Childs got back in his vehicle and continued to follow Bisbee until being pulled over by law enforcement. A single bullet hole was found in the tailgate of Bisbee’s truck.
In an interview with law enforcement, Childs said he became upset upon learning his ex-girlfriend was dating Bisbee, whom he grew up with.
“It was a stupid decision,” Childs said. “I just lost control of myself.”
The entire incident at Walker Fence was recorded on surveillance cameras in the parking lot.
At trial Tuesday, the defense argued it was unreasonable to think Childs purposely fired a round at Bisbee’s truck. He pointed jurors to Childs’ earlier testimony: “Check the tape. I 100 percent shot into the ground.”
“On the video, you do not see the gun pointed at a downward angle,” Henry said in closing arguments. “If I’m shooting at the ground, how does the bullet end up 30 feet away and still manage to hit the truck?”
Henry reminded jurors that when Childs was initially interviewed by law enforcement, he did not tell them he fired a gun toward the vehicle.
“He conveniently omits the very statement that incriminates him above all else,” Henry said. “It’s easy to say now that you didn’t have the intent to shoot into an occupied vehicle, but actions speak louder than words. And his actions show someone who became enraged.”
“He wants you to think he didn’t try to fire at Cory Bisbee, but then why did he take all these steps to do so? His intent is clear. He was angry, enraged, and jealous, and the only reasonable conclusion is to find him guilty as charged,” Henry said.