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Eastwood Sentenced On Gun Charge, Avoids More Jail Time

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Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood in court on Nov. 10 (credit: CBS)

Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood in court on Nov. 10 (credit: CBS)

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – The man found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting at Deer Creek Middle School said he’s sorry in court on Thursday.

Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood was sentenced to the maximum 18 months in prison in Jefferson County court on Thursday, but because he has already spent more time than that in jail he was given credit for time spent.

Eastwood will remain in a state mental health hospital and will get 1 year of parole when — or if — he is deemed ready for release.

Eastwood had faced 15 charges after he brought a gun to the school in February 2010 and shot and injured two students. He was found guilty in October only on an unlawful possession of weapon on school grounds charge.

After shooting eighth graders Reagan Webber and Matt Thieu, teachers tackled Eastwood and held him down until police arrived at the school.

Parents of Webber and Thieu attended Eastwood’s sentencing hearing Thursday morning and read emotional letters about the damage that Eastwood did to their children.

Eastwood also briefly addressed the court, making a statement of apology that lasted about 30 seconds. Family of his victims told CBS4 they didn’t expect much more than that.

Three independent psychiatrists who reviewed the case and interviewed Eastwood determined that he was insane at the time of the shooting. Jefferson County’s District Attorney Scott Storey said on Thursday he still doesn’t understand how the jury came to their verdict last month.

“What fact or set of facts do you rely on to say that at the moment he pulled that trigger on that gun he did not know the difference between right and wrong? When immediately before that he did and two hours (after) when they interviewed him — obviously — he did,” Storey said.

Eastwood’s attorney Katherine Spengler spoke to reporters, saying the defense remains happy with the verdict.

“I think at a point the prosecution lost objectivity and I am so thankful that the jury came to the verdict that they did,” she said.

Webber and Thieu have recovered from their injuries.

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