Tanner Hole told jurors he never meant for anyone to shoot at police. He and two of his friends had driven to Huntington to rob the home of an old acquaintance. Officer Jeff Richardson tried to pull them over, instead, they sped off and a shoot-out followed.
Although Hole wasn't the gunman, the jury sentenced him Wednesday to 25 years in prison for the attack on Officer Richardson and another 20 years for the assault on Constable Tom Selman.
"I'm very pleased with the outcome of the decision the court has made and I couldn't ask for anything else," said Officer Richardson. "The justice system really stood up to this. It was very emotional for me to relive that moment, but it's something you have to deal with in this field."
More than half a dozen witnesses testified during the sentencing phase of the trial. They called Hole a loving and hard working man who made a bad choice. His family broke down after the verdict and sentence were read.
Til Hole, Tanner mother, said, "I feel it was completely and totally unfair and my son did not do anything. He may have made some bad judgments - getting drunk, that was not right for him to do - but he did not do any of the rest."
The shoot-out happened about a year after Huntington police officer, John Logan, was killed after making a routine traffic stop...reminding officers how dangerous their job can be.
Chief David West said, "Our officers work a little bit more cautiously now, but it's a job and this is what we face each and every day that we go out. We know and we have to prepare and try to be safe as possible."
Hole asked officers Richardson and West to forgive him and pleaded with jurors to give him probation instead of prison. He'd successfully completed probation twice as a juvenile after making terroristic threats while a student at Huntington High School. He'd also harbored a runaway, Sabrina Canda, now his wife and accomplice in last summer's shootout.