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A Gaffney man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for shooting a taxi cab driver.

Brian A. Sims, 24, of Gaffney, was found guilty of assault and battery with intent to kill Monday afternoon during a jury trial at the Cherokee County Courthouse. He will serve 85 percent of Circuit Judge Derham Cole’s sentence before he is eligible for release.

Sims shot Frankie Pierce, 59, on April 19, 2003 while he worked for the Gaffney Cab Company. Pierce told Gaffney police the shooting occurred about 10:30 p.m. on Birch Street. At the end of a ride, Pierce said Sims demanded his money and shot the car radio. Both men exited the cab and a brief struggle ensued. Sims shot Pierce in the back while he tried to run from the confrontation. Pierce knocked on the door of a nearby residence and asked them to call 911. He was treated at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.

“Mr. Pierce is lucky to be alive,” Assistant Solicitor Kim Leskanic said. “This case could have easily been a homicide.

“Cherokee County is a better place with Brian Sims behind bars serving a well-deserved prison sentence,” Leskanic added.

Sims’ criminal record includes a 2004 aggravated assault and battery conviction in Spartanburg County for which he recently finished serving a prison sentence.