Laramie Man Admits He Threatened Officers With Loaded Gun
Jason M. Beck, 43, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a deadly weapon with unlawful intent. He was initially charged with aggravated assault -- which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine -- but the charge was reduced as part of a plea agreement.
Prosecutor Rob Sanford said in court Thursday that in exchange for Beck's guilty plea, the state would cap its sentencing recommendation to a split sentence of no more than a year in the Albany County Detention Center followed by probation.
But Judge Jeffrey Donnell said while he will certainly consider the plea agreement, it is not binding on the court, meaning Beck could find himself serving the maximum sentence of five years in prison and paying a $1,000 fine.
Defense attorney Tony Lopez noted for the record that he discussed with the county attorney's office the potential for Beck to receive first-offender treatment. Donnell emphasized that in this case, given Beck's use of a deadly weapon to threaten police officers, it is extremely likely that Beck would receive such treatment.
Sanford said Thursday that police officers went to Beck's residence on Jan. 23 for "of all things, a snow removal complaint."
Officers learned upon their arrival that Beck was angry, drunk and had a firearm in his possession, according to court documents.
"This was an actual firearm," Sanford said. "It was loaded."
Beck, standing on the front porch, pointed the pistol at each of the two officers as they approached, telling them to stop.
The police affidavit says Beck eventually put the pistol on the porch railing, after which officers secured the gun and arrested Beck.
Sanford told the court that Beck made troubling statements before surrendering the gun.
"Apparently, he said 'just kill me,' something along those lines," Sanford said.
Beck told the court he doesn't remember threatening the officers, adding that he had consumed a large amount of alcohol very quickly immediately before the incident because he had been upset about "issues in [his] neighborhood."
"My client had consumed a ridiculous amount of alcohol right before this happened," Lopez said.
Beck remains free on $75,000 signature bond pending sentencing.