Man gets 18 months for church gun incident

Posted: Wednesday, October 03, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- A gunman inside a Juneau church who held police at bay for six hours was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison by a Superior Court judge.

James Onstott, 62, was sentenced to four years in prison with 30 months suspended by Superior Judge Patricia Collins. He also received a six-month sentence for violating his probation, but received credit for time spent in jail since April.

Onstott brandished a gun inside the United Pentecostal Church and demanded to see his estranged wife on April 8, prompting a police standoff.

''I just went to that church to say goodbye and tell her I love her, then I was going to step outside and shoot myself,'' Onstott said during his sentencing.

In August, Onstott pleaded guilty to one count each of felony assault and misdemeanor probation violation and was sentenced under a plea agreement. A grand jury had indicted him on nine counts of felony assault.

He could be eligible for early release after 10 months for good behavior, according to the Juneau Empire.

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