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Blanchard man sentenced to prison for shooting deputies

June 6, 2018

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — A Blanchard man was sentenced Tuesday to up to 50 years in prison for shooting two Bonner County sheriff’s deputies.

Adam Deacon Foster was ordered to serve two 12½-year terms for attempting to kill deputies Michael Gagnon and Justin Penn, the Bonner County Daily Bee reported .

The 32-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder and sentencing enhancements for inflicting bodily harm on deputies.

The deputies arrived at Foster’s home last January after his mother reported that he grown increasingly paranoid and was threatening to kill their neighbors.

“We both agreed that this was serious and credible. We agreed that we had to act immediately,” Gagnon said.

Penn was shot in the wrist and back. Gagnon was shot three times, including one shot to the back that doctors said came close to killing him.

Prior to the January 2017 incident, deputies held off on arresting Foster on the misdemeanor battery charge after he allegedly attacked his mother during an argument.

During her testimony, Foster’s mother, Audrey, said she never felt threatened by her son.

Foster said during the sentencing hearing on Tuesday that he thought the deputies were assailants, not law officers. He has been diagnosed with delusion disorder.

“I honestly thought these threats were real and my life was in danger. I understand with the help of a psychiatrist that these could have been delusions, but it was real to me — just as you are real in this courtroom,” Foster told First District Judge Barbara Buchanan.

Buchanan said she would have imposed a 50-year sentence without possibility of parole if not for Foster’s mental illness, which would effectively be a life sentence. Instead she imposed a 50-year term, the first 25 years of which are fixed.

Buchanan ordered that the fixed portion of the sentences be served consecutively.

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Information from: Bonner County (Idaho) Daily Bee, http://www.bonnercountydailybee.com

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