Judge Hands Down Sentence To Man Shot In The Hands By Cops
Utica, NY (WIBX) - The man who was shot in both hands by police after pointing a gun at officers during a domestic dispute involving a 15-year-old girl, learned his fate in Oneida County Court this morning. 41-year-old James Newbill is going to jail for 3.5 years on each of the four felony counts he was facing for menacing a police officer, that are to be served concurrently. He will also have to serve 2 years of post release supervision, to be served concurrently on each of the four counts.
Oneida County District Attorney, Scott McNamara says the punishment fits the crime. He says his office balanced the unusual amount of support Newbill received from the community, and the impact other tragic incidents involving law enforcement officials may pose. "And, it was more difficult to pull them apart and say, 'lets not do that, let's not punish Mr. Newbill for what happened to Kurt Wyman, let's not punish Mr. Newbill for what happened up in Boonville. He committed a crime, and we have to find out what the proper punishment for that crime is, and don't give him extra punishment because of what happened to Kurt, and that's a difficult thing to do."
Newbill was facing 8 years in prison. He'll also undergo treatment for alcohol abuse. According to McNamara, Newbill became upset after learning that the 15-year-old girl he's been a mentor to, was dating an older gentleman. Newbill attempted to stop their relationship, but subsequently ended up chasing the two down in his truck on Route 26, ramming their car and other motorists on the road, and ultimately chasing them to a home where Newbill physically assaulted the other man.
At that point, McNamara says, fueled by alcohol, Newbill became "paranoid and spun out of control" when the incident turned into a standoff with police. He says Newbill was attempting to "commit suicide by cop" because he was fearful that the situation had spiraled out of control and didn't see a way out. McNamara says, Newbill did not intent to shoot the officers during the incident when he pointed his shotgun at a NYS Trooper.
When asked about the relationship between Newbill and the youngster, McNamara says investigators looked into the appropriateness of it and determined that Newbill was a "family friend," an "uncle" or "big brother" type to the girl. He said, "He looked over her, took care of her, he got her involved in racing snowmobiles. He would build the snowmobiles for her. He also races snowmobiles. He spend a lot of time with that young girl--a lot of things that she did, he taught her. Things like hunting, bow hunting, things like that nature."
McNamara says Newbill was very remorseful to the officers on the scene and even apologized for pointing the weapon at them, claiming it was unintentional. Newbill lost part of his hand, after he was shot by officers on the scene.