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Man who aimed at troopers is sentenced to prison term

SHARE Man who aimed at troopers is sentenced to prison term

A man who pulled a gun on two Utah Highway Patrol troopers during a traffic stop and was shot six times has been sentenced to up to life in prison for attempted aggravated murder.

The sentence was imposed after emotional testimony both for and against Tony Colwell, who pointed a gun at trooper Don Sagendorf but never pulled the trigger during the Oct. 26, 1996, traffic stop for a broken brake light. Sagendorf and trooper Warren Nelson responded by shooting Colwell six times."He was attempting to take the life of Officer Sagendorf," 2nd District Judge Michael Glasmann said in sentencing Colwell to five years to life Monday. "There was not a great deal of rational thinking going on, and I think there's a lot of anger in Mr. Colwell."

Sagendorf told Glasmann the feelings experienced by his family were the same as if he had died.

Both Sagendorf and Nelson, are also named in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Colwell's parents.

Glasmann said he was somewhat merciful with Colwell because he was only 17 when the incident occurred. The judge allowed Colwell to serve one-to-15-year prison term on a second charge - possession of a firearm by a parolee - along with his possible life term.