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Man sentenced to time served, probation in police shooting

March 10, 2021 GMT

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont man accused of opening fire on police officers has been sentenced to the two years he served in jail and 10 years probation.

Matthew Novick, pleaded no contest on Tuesday to a charge of aggravated assault with a weapon, the Bennington Banner reported.

Authorities said police had gone to Novick’s home in January 2019 after his mother called 911 to report he was having a psychotic breakdown. Novick allegedly fired a semi-automatic rifle at officers before he was wounded. He faced an attempted first-degree murder charge, which was dismissed under a plea deal with prosecutors. He had been held without bail.

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“This is more than a disappointment,” Vermont Trooper Raymond Witkowski said in court. Witkowski had been shot at, and in turn, fired at Novick, wounding him. He had asked for Novick to serve a 15-year prison term. “This is a slap in the face to me, not only as a victim but as a law enforcement professional who dedicated his life to fair and equal pursuit of justice.”

Deputy State’s Attorney Alex Burke said the plea deal was the best resolution the state could find, given the result of Novick’s mental health evaluation. He said if the state had gone to trial, it risked getting a verdict of not guilty based on insanity.