An Alaska man was sentenced to 22 years in prison after pleading guilty to shooting at an Anchorage, Alaska, police officer in 2012.
Jason Barnum, 39 years old, pleaded guilty to attempted murder, first degree burglary and third degree weapons misconduct for shooting at an officer outside of a hotel in September of 2012. The officer was investigating a series of burglaries and car thefts that were carried out by Barnum.
While the officer was inspecting the hotel, Barnum fired at him from inside of a bathroom. Two other officers fired back, hitting Barnum in the arm. One officer was injured.
Barnum later admitted to the break-ins, saying that he was trying to feed his heroin habit.
“I think Jason Barnum decided a long time ago that his life was about being hostile to people,” Anchorage Police Department Chief Mark Mew said in court. Mew then directed attention toward the tattoos that covered Barnum’s face.
“I'd like you to take a look at Mr. Barnum,” Mew said. “He has the right to do this to himself and to express himself. We can't sentence him for that, but I think we can consider a guy's attitude and his behavior."
Barnum also addressed the court, acknowledging that what he did was wrong. “I'm humbled by what the chief said. I was out there pretty much running crazy,” he said. “Everybody knows that I'm not the nicest guy. I understand that what I did was wrong. I can't take none of it back."
According to Newsday, Barnum put part of the blame for his troubles on the Alaska Department of Corrections. “I was living on the streets, and I tried to get a job, but of course my beautiful face didn't allow me to do that,” he said.
Barnum, according to Deputy District Attorney Clint Campion, reportedly expressed remorse for his actions.
“I thought he provided some measure of insight into his own criminality and decision-making process with some recognition of the challenges he’s created in his own life,” Campion said.