Bandit taken down by fire extinguisher sentenced

Nathaniel McPherson
Nathaniel McPherson

The second home invasion suspect who assaulted a woman and her three-legged dog with a baseball bat – only to be chased away by the woman’s fire extinguisher-wielding husband – will serve 58 to 82 months in prison.

The District Attorney’s office announced Friday afternoon that Nathaniel Keith McPherson was found guilty of assault, violating probation and cruelty to animals. He also received 36 months of supervised probation and six to 17 months suspended sentenced on the cruelty charge. He will also be required to do 200 hours of community service at an animal shelter. The sentence was part of a plea agreement, according to the District Attorney’s office.


McPherson and Tamagea Gilliam broke into a home of an elderly couple and their dog near Cerro Gordo on the night of Jan. 8, 2019, according to sheriff’s reports and the district attorney’s office. The female victim was in her bedroom and went to investigate a noise. When she saw the two suspects, she told them to leave or she would get her firearm. The men – who were wearing hoodies and had their faces covered — then assaulted her and her three-legged dog with a baseball bat. The dog survived its injuries. 

The woman’s husband, who was in the living room, then used a fire extinguisher to defend his wife from the home invaders. The two men escaped on foot, but deputies were able to identify and arrest both men later that night. Propellant from the fire extinguisher weas found on McPherson’s shoes, according to the court.

Tamagua Gilliam

Gilliam was sentenced in January. He is serving a seven year, five month sentence for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, felony breaking and entering, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and cruelty to animals.

The men lived near the victim at the time of the assault, according to sheriff’s reports from the time.

McPherson was back in the news this summer, when on Aug. 5, then again on Aug. 24, he allegedly damaged sprinkler heads at the County Detention Center, setting off a fire alarm and damaging the building. 

The state was represented by Assistant District Attorney Allan Adams and victim witness coordinator Tammi Collin. Detective Scott Norris with the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office lead the investigation.

About Jefferson Weaver 1954 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].