An Oregon man will likely spend at least 15 years behind bars for kidnapping his wife and young son, then shooting it out with police.
Raul Bonilla, 30, was sentenced Thursday to five years to life at the Utah State Prison after pleading guilty in November to aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony.Third District Judge Ronald E. Nehring said he would recommend Bonilla be incarcerated for at least 15 years because a gun was used to carry out the crime.
Nehring said he can't excuse Bonilla's actions that endangered several lives - including the defendant's young son.
"Putting children in the line of fire is something I won't tolerate," the judge said.
On June 11, 1995, Bonilla reportedly burst into a an LDS chapel at 4195 S. 6000 West looking for his estranged wife, Lucinda Bonilla, while members of the Copperhill 1st Ward were con-clud-ing Sunday services.
Armed with a .357 Magnum revolver, Raul Bonilla ordered his wife to go outside with him. When she refused, he pulled the gun from his waistband and fired a round into the ceiling, according to court testimony.
He then put his wife and 3-year-old-son, Jacob Bonilla, into their minivan and drove off. Officers spotted the vehicle about half an hour later and gave chase. During the pursuit, the minivan ran a red light and slammed into a car at 5400 South and Bangerter Highway.
As police converged, Raul Bonilla reportedly told his wife he wasn't going to jail, fired a shot at a police officer from the mangled minivan, then turned the gun on himself.
The self-inflicted blast to the jaw has forced him to be fed through a tube and to speak in whispers.
Jacob Bonilla was apparently shot in the arm by one of the three officers returning fire. He was released from the hospital the next day.
On Thursday, Raul Bonilla said he was sorry for what happened, adding "I don't understand what I was going through at the time."