A career criminal and documented gang member was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for threatening to shoot a Pasco police officer.
Devonn D. Kinsey, 31, received the maximum sentence possible for his felony harassment conviction because of his lengthy record. His criminal history back to 1995 includes three convictions for assault, along with theft, vehicle theft, eluding police, unlawful possession of firearms and possessing a controlled substance.
He was sentenced in Franklin County Superior Court by Judge Sal Mendoza Jr.
Kinsey notified the court that he will appeal the jury's verdict, which was returned last Thursday.
However, Mendoza denied a defense request to put the prison term on hold until a decision is made by the state Court of Appeals in Spokane. The process can take up to a couple of years, depending on the case and the timeline for appellate arguments.
Pasco police were called late Dec. 18, 2012, to the Sage 'N Sun Motel near the cable bridge for reports of several shots fired by a man who then shot himself. The person on the phone with dispatchers said the man ran to a black BMW-style car that was leaving the area.
Officer David Herrera was turning onto Washington Street from South 10th Avenue when he saw a car matching the description pulling out of the motel parking lot. The driver reportedly did not use a turn signal.
The car drove past Herrera's patrol car and he could see there were three occupants. He called for additional officers to help with a high-risk stop, because he wasn't sure if the passengers were armed.
Kinsey, one of the passengers, was uncooperative and refused to follow directions as officers tried to separate the three. He repeated numerous times that police didn't find a gun on him, even before he was told they were investigating a shooting, and said they had to let him go, court documents said.
Officers learned that Kinsey had an outstanding arrest warrant. When police went to search him before taking him into custody, Kinsey "stiffened up," so it was difficult for officers to get him to turn around. He then got into a fighting stance, even though he was wearing handcuffs, documents said.
Kinsey reportedly called Herrera and another officer derogatory names, glared at them, and said he would kick their butts once the cuffs were off.
Kinsey believed he would get out of jail in three days because they had no reason to hold him.
"Just wait until I see you ... on the streets, then it will be on, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop," court documents said.
Herrera wrote in his report that Kinsey made the sound of a gun shooting while saying each "pop."
"You'll see what I mean. I'm not someone you want to mess with 'cause I'm going to get you on the streets, just wait," Kinsey told the officer as he was being driven to the Franklin County jail. "Check my record and you'll see that I'm not messing around."
Kinsey claimed he was sober and knew exactly what he was saying, and said he was going to get payback for being pushed into the car by Herrera.
The officer said he later looked up Kinsey's record and discovered he has a history of assaults and is known to carry firearms.
Herrera wrote a letter to the court in advance of Kinsey's sentencing, saying he's been in fear for his life from Kinsey and had to make several changes to his personal security, especially at home. Herrera also said he showed a picture of Kinsey to his family members so they could be aware in case he came near them.
The officer said a maximum sentence would help his family "feel safer once again."
Prosecutor Shawn Sant issued a written statement Tuesday giving thanks to Deputy Prosecutor Maureen Lorincz for taking the case to trial.
"This case concludes two weeks before National Police Week where we honor the men and women who serve in law enforcement and those that have given their lives protecting our communities," Sant said.
Kinsey has been ordered to have no contact with Herrera for five years.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer