Judge sentences Cowherd to 4 years

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A Waynetown man who was shot by police last year after pointing a weapon toward officers at his home apologized in court Thursday as his sentence was handed down.

Jason W. Cowherd, 31, was sentenced to four years in prison for the September 2018 incident, which unfolded as officers responded to a report of a disorderly intoxicated man in the neighborhood. Following his release, Cowherd will serve 1-1/2 years of probation and was ordered to complete substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Before learning his punishment, Cowherd expressed remorse to police involved in the encounter.

“It had to be really hard. It’s probably still hard,” he said, as members of his family looked on.

Cowherd testified that he was experiencing marital and financial trouble at the time of the encounter and admitted to having a dependency on alcohol. On the night of the incident, Cowherd reportedly made threats at a local bar, forcing the establishment to close, before bar staff and friends tried to escort him back home.

Police were called to the home and as they wrapped up their investigation, Cowherd came out of the house and pointed a weapon toward officers and other bystanders.

“This was an armed standoff in a neighborhood at a time when the neighbors were home,” prosecuting attorney Andrew Salter said.

Cowherd’s attorney Matthew Kubacki argued the encounter was an isolated incident and that his client had pursued a substance abuse evaluation, which took place after Cowherd was convicted in the case. Cowherd had no prior record of convictions.

In an emotional testimony, Cowherd’s brother James said the incident was out of character for his younger sibling, who was serving as a volunteer firefighter and had an interest in the medical field.

“Jason’s the type of person who I watched … give a spare tire to a stranger,” James Cowherd said.

The sentence is eligible to be reduced if Cowherd completes a substance abuse treatment program while behind bars.

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