Richard Klementovich, the former cop who had a 10-hour standoff in Doylestown Township on Father’s Day last year, has been sentenced to 8½ to 20 years in prison for shooting at police.
In preparing for court, Klementovich's attorney was going to argue an insanity defense after Klementovich holed up inside his estranged wife's home at 25 Bittersweet Drive and shot through the window at responding police officers.
In the end, Klementovich pled no contest to the charges, according to Phillyburbs.com. A no contest plea means, essentially, that he accepts that he would be convicted if tried, but does not admit guilt.
Had he been convicted by a jury, the report states, he could have received up to 40 years.
The charges were attempted murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, assault of a law enforcement officer, criminal mischief, institutional vandalism and unlawful use of body armor.
His attorneys said their client never meant to hurt anyone but himself during the incident, Phillyburbs.com reports:
“We have always felt that this was a serious and painful cry for help from a person who was very seriously emotionally damaged,” Attorney Jeffrey Simms told the court. “There is a thing called 'the switch.' Every police officer knows what that is. Sometimes, that switch is flipped.”
Klementovich was a veteran police officer with the Clifton, NJ, force. at a restaurant.
Instead, Klementovich went to their home on Bittersweet Drive. He barricaded himself inside, and then called the police.
When a Doylestown Township officer responded to the home, he found an envelope in the driveway.
The envelope was addressed to Doylestown PD. It said that the subject in the house had two scoped rifles, 2,000 rounds of ammunition, body armor, that he was law enforcement and that he was ready to die.
According to the court documents, police also obtained an email from Klementovich’s estranged wife. In the email, Klementovich "apologizes to her for personal shortcomings, advises that he was on steroids, and mentions dying several times."
"I get angry," Klementovich allegedly wrote in the email message. "Angry at this job and law enforcement. And its them who I will take out my anger on."
Dozens of police officers from forces across Bucks County converged on the Doylestown Township neighborhood. Neighbors were evacuated or told to stay in their homes with the curtains drawn.
The shooter and police officers exchanged shots, two cruisers were destroyed by bullets as the tense standoff dragged on throughout the day. Finally, about 10 hours after the first call to police, Klementovich surrendered.
Beyond the sentence, Klementovich must comply with a mental health treatment plan in prison and was banned from using steroids.
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