Former officer changes plea in standoff and shooting case

Troy Wilson prepares to leave the courtroom after his change of plea hearing on Wednesday. His attorney Julie Willoughby is partially obscured behind Wilson’s Judicial Services escort. Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO News

A former police officer convicted of firing on his former colleagues could be facing twenty years in prison.

Troy Wilson on Wednesday afternoon changed his plea to a reduced set of seven charges related to last April 7th’s shooting and stand-off at his home on Black Wolf Way. The most serious of the latest charges include felony attempted assault in the first degree and two counts of misconduct involving weapons in the second degree.

Wilson also pled guilty to less serious felonies of three counts of third degree assault and a count of criminal mischief for damage to a police vehicle and a neighbor’s house. All of the victims named in a new charging document were officers who responded to the scene on that day.

Wilson initially faced a total of twenty-two counts of attempted murder, weapons misconduct, assault, and criminal mischief related to the incident that carried over into April 8th last year. At least 75 shots were fired by Wilson before he ultimately surrendered.

The charging document or criminal information that was provided to the court on Wednesday will supplant or replace the original indictment. District Attorney Dave Brower says that he will file a formal request to dismiss the remaining charges as part of the plea agreement.

During the entire hearing, Wilson answered routine questions with a “No, your honor”, “Yes, your honor.” Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg then read each of the remaining charges and asked for a plea. Wilson responded with “Guilty, your honor” all seven times.

The change of plea by Wilson averts a jury trial that recently had been planned for later this month.

Wilson, a former lieutenant with the Juneau Police Department who at one point was head of the special operations unit, will face open sentencing during a July 18th hearing.

There was only one condition to the plea agreement as outlined by his defense attorney Julie Willoughby. The prosecution would not ask for Wilson to serve more than twenty years, although the judge has ultimate discretion on length of the sentence.

There is, however, a presumptive range for each charge. For example, a Class B felony of attempted assault in the first degree usually carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. But a first time offender like Wilson would likely be sentenced to a presumptive range of between one- and three-years in prison. There are also mitigators and aggravators that could affect the length of the sentence either up or down.

In Wilson’s case, there are also three agreed-upon aggravators that include risk of physical injury to three or more people, most serious offense, and victims who were law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duty.

A judge could also order that each sentence be served consecutively, one after the other, or concurrently which would run at the same time as another similar sentence.

With the plea agreement, Wilson cannot file an appeal in his case with the exception of a possible appeal of his sentence if it is considered excessive.

Those who attended Wednesday’s change of plea hearing included Wilson’s former wife and a handful of his former colleagues at the Juneau Police Department.

Since last year’s incident, Wilson has been held at Lemon Creek Correctional Center with bail set at $1,000,000.

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