Man involved in 20-hour standoff gets 5 years


MISSOULA, Mont. - A Missoula judge handed down a 20-year prison sentence with 15 years suspended to the man involved in a standoff last September.

Jason Kirchner when surrendered at his apartment after a 20 hour stand-off with police last year. Officers responded after receiving a report of assault.

Kirchner talked to officers on the phone and threatened to shoot anyone within 1,000 yards. Later that afternoon Kirchner fired shots striking an armored vehicle close to a group of officers, before coming out of his home at 3:30 a.m. the next day.

In Missoula County District Court Tuesday, Kirchner's attorney asked the judge to send him to a mental health facility. Judge Dusty Deschamps wasn't opposed to the idea, but said Kirchner will have to go through a screening process.

Deschamps sentenced Kirchner to 5 years for felony criminal mischief and felony assault with a weapon. Deschamps added that it's not just about mental health, but the safety of the public because Kirchner opened fire.

"The difficulty that I've got here is the fact that you're not just a person with a drug problem and a mental health problem. You're also a person who fired, repeatedly, gunshots at police officers," Deschamps said.