A Hendersonville man who targeted two registered sex offenders in his neighborhood – shooting twice into the home of one of them – has been sentenced to 14 years in state prison.
Robert Sauer Jr., 55, was charged Sept. 15, 2018 with two counts attempted first-degree murder, two counts reckless endangerment, three counts vandalism over $1,000 and two counts vandalism up to $1,000 for a series of crimes in September 2018 at two separate homes on the Walton Ferry/Sanders Ferry peninsula. He has remained in the Sumner County Jail on a $1 million bond since his arrest.
Sauer pleaded guilty in Sumner County Criminal Court on Aug. 15 to the five vandalism charges as well as four charges of reckless endangerment. His trial had been set to begin Sept. 30.
According to a police affidavit, the Hendersonville man’s crime spree began on Sept. 7, 2018 when one of his victims, a registered sex offender, reported to police that someone had painted the words ‘Pops’ and pervert on his car.
On that same day another registered sex offender reported to police that someone had painted the word rape on his vehicle and glued his mailbox shut.
The first victim reported to police on Sept. 11, 2018 that someone had painted his vehicle again, shot it with a weapon and glued his mailbox shut. A day later, a drive-by shooting was reported at the second victim’s home with one of the bullets ending up in a bedroom pillow where a child would have normally been sleeping.
The second victim reported a second shooting at his home on Sept. 15.
Sauer told police he looked at the sex offender registry and began to research news articles on some of the defendants, according to the affidavit.
“He was particularly disgusted by the acts perpetrated … and Sauer feels they did not do enough time in jail and that the judicial system failed,” wrote Hendersonville Det. Jacob Sprouls. “Sauer stated he wanted them to feel fear every night just like their victims used to.”
Neither of Sauer’s victims appeared in court for the plea hearing last week.
Sauer received a two-year sentence for each of the vandalism over $1,000 charges; and six years – the maximum - for each of the reckless endangerment charges.
He was ordered to serve one of the vandalism over $1,000 charges concurrent with two reckless endangerment charges for a sentence of six years. Those charges are to be served consecutive to a concurrent two-year sentence for vandalism, a six-year sentence for two other reckless endangerment charges and another vandalism over $1,000 charge.
He has already served an 11-month, 29-day sentence for the two vandalism under $1,000 charges.
Sauer was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation in state prison. He’ll be eligible for parole after serving 30 percent of his 14-year sentence.