PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) An Eagle Butte man was given the maximum sentence in prison yesterday for his guilty plea to Attempted First Degree Murder. 28-year-old Jason Garreau was changed in Hughes County for an incident that occurred October 31 of last year involving a lengthy standoff with law enforcement. Garreau was being sought by authorities after his cousin, John Garreau was killed in an officer involved shooting east of Pierre on October 30. Jason Garreau holed up in a trailer home in Pierre-where he remained during what was an eight hour standoff. He admitted to firing a weapon through a closed door when officers entered the home October 31 and at least one officer was hit in a protective vest and was injured.
In court Wednesday, Garreau’s lawyer Pat Carlson told Judge John Brown that her client has had a colorful past, but said he is a bright young man who has a long standing substance abuse problem. She said Jason Garreau avoided law enforcement out of fear, as he had been on the phone with his cousin John Garreau when John was shot.
Garreau spoke during the hearing. He said he wasn’t looking to take a life that day and had been running on fear and adrenaline. He told Judge Brown that he is a good person and that the only thing he wanted to do during his courtroom comments was to apologize to the officer he shot.
Hughes County State’s Attorney Wendy Kloeppner said she believes that Garreau is a danger to the community. She said he blindly shot live ammunition rounds during the standoff.
Brown ordered that Garreau spend 25 years in the state penitentiary and pay just over $27,200 in restitution for injuries to two officers, for damages caused to two trailers and for court costs. Brown said Garreau had armed himself with three weapons and demonstrated a criminal mindset through the incident.
After Wednesday’s hearing Kloeppner said that she believes Garreau’s sentence to be fair.
There was some discussion during the hearing as to whether Garreau should have to pay restitution for injuries to a second officer and Kloeppner said though he didn’t plead guilty to injuring that policeman, the officer was still a victim of Garreau’s crime.
Garreau is scheduled to appear next week-on Monday-in federal court to hear his sentence on charges of Assault of Federal Officers and Discharge of a Firearm.
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