BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma — A man convicted of plotting to attack his northeastern Oklahoma high school last year was sentenced to 2½ years in prison on Tuesday.
Sammie Eaglebear Chavez, of Bartlesville, sat quietly during his sentencing hearing in Washington County District Court, speaking only to confirm that he understood the terms of his sentence, which includes a $5,000 fine, the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise reported (http://bit.ly/1eIvPqd ). He will receive 11 months of credit for the time he's spent in jail.
Chavez was convicted in September of planning to cause bodily harm at the school by plotting a mass shooting and bombing, though no attack was carried out. The jury recommended the 30-month sentence.
Both District Attorney Kevin Buchanan and Defense Attorney Jim Conatser asked the court to follow the jury's recommendation.
Chavez was arrested Dec. 14, 2012, hours before a mass shooting that killed children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut The arrest came after school officials were alerted that Chavez had made threats to lock students in a school building and shoot them and to detonate bombs when police responded.
Chavez testified at his trial that he was joking about an attack and submitted a presentencing report, saying he did not intend to attack the school.
"It is all a misunderstanding," the report said. "I never threatened no one."
During Tuesday's hearing, Judge Curtis DeLapp said Chavez's assertion failed to persuade jurors.
"The jury did not believe that, whether you believe it was a serious deal or not," DeLapp said.
Information from: Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, http://www.examiner-enterprise.com