A man has been sentenced after what appears to be two failed attempts to have Pierce County law enforcement officers kill him.
Superior Court Judge James Orlando sentenced 26-year-old Anthony Eric Chavez on Friday to six years, three months in prison.
A jury convicted him in July of gun theft, intimidating a public servant and two counts of second-degree assault. It found him not guilty of felony harassment and a third second-degree assault charge.
Chavez first became involved with police when Tacoma officers got a report Oct. 8, 2014, that he was suicidal. They used a stun gun on him at a Tacoma motel after he refused to drop a knife he was holding.
A week later, a Lakewood police officer shot Chavez after police got another call that he was suicidal. When officers found him at a Lakewood apartment complex, he refused to drop a gun he was holding, and pointed it at an officer.
Before Chavez’s sentencing, his grandmother, Teresa Garcia, wrote the court that he joined the U.S. Army in 2008, and “came back from his deployment in Afghanistan as a wounded warrior who suffered from a traumatic brain injury as well as (post-traumatic stress disorder).”
“... the pain of what transpired will always be with us, knowing that he tried to take his own life, because of all the atrocities he witnessed in one of the most dangerous places in the Kandahar region.”
Also asking for leniency, defense attorney Derek Smith wrote in his sentencing memorandum: “... the defendant was so despondent that he wanted law enforcement to kill him.”
Deputy prosecutor Terry Lane was a mitigated sentence was not justified.
He agreed that Chavez was diagnosed with PTSD, depressive disorder and alcohol dependency, but argued there was not evidence to suggest he didn’t understand that his actions were wrong.
Lane wrote the court that Chavez was depressed at the time, because an ex-girlfriend didn’t want to get back together with him.