Laramie Man Sentenced to Jail for Drunkenly Pointing Gun at Police Officers
A man will spend a year in jail after admitting that he threatened Laramie police officers with a loaded pistol earlier this year.
Jason M. Beck, 43, was sentenced Thursday to one year in the Albany County Detention Center in lieu of a suspended 4-5 year prison sentence, with credit for one week already served.
Beck will be placed on four years supervised probation after his release. He will also be required to complete an intensive outpatient treatment program -- or the Laramie drug court program -- to address his past alcohol abuse.
Judge Jeffrey Donnell also ordered Beck to complete a criminal thinking class, comply with all counseling recommendations and complete 100 hours of community service with 15 months of his release from jail.
"This is your lucky day," Donnell told Beck after reading his sentence. "You're alive and you're not headed for a federal penitentiary. That's about as good as it gets under the circumstances you created here, Mr. Beck."
Court documents say two Laramie police officers went to Beck's home Jan. 23 to address a snow removal complaint. When they arrived, Beck was standing on the front porch -- angry, drunk and pointing a loaded pistol at both officers.
The affidavit says the officers gave verbal commands despite Beck telling them to stop. Beck eventually put the pistol down on the porch railing. The officers secured the gun and arrested Beck.
One of the officers examined the gun and found a round in the chamber.
Beck was previously convicted of a felony and domestic battery, both of which disqualified him from owning or possessing any firearm for the rest of his life.
Defense attorney Tony Lopez told the court Thursday that he saw no benefit in putting Beck behind bars, saying his client has gotten sober since the incident and is a much different person than he was in January.
"The individual that I saw initially," Lopez said, "is not the same individual that I'm seeing now."
"My concern is not your client's benefit," Donnell replied. "My concern is society's benefit."
"That law exists for the benefit of society in general," Donnell continued. "If he'd done what he was supposed to do in the first place -- which was not have a weapon -- he wouldn't be here."
Donnell and Lopez each emphasized Beck's good fortune in not being shot and killed after pointing a loaded gun at the officers.
"Were we in virtually any other jurisdiction, we wouldn't be here today," Lopez remarked, saying Beck would likely be dead had it not been for the restraint exercised by the officers involved.
"You're lucky to be alive," Donnell said, adding that his chief concern in the matter is for the police officers who, had the event resulted in a shooting, would have had to bear that weight for the rest of their lives.
In that event, "You're just gone," Donnell told Beck. "They have to live with it. That's my concern."
"I speak from personal experience. That does not go away," Donnell added.