Idaho man, 19, gets prison time for attacking jailers

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jan. 13, 2016 at 12:31 p.m.



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ST. ANTHONY, Idaho (AP) — A 19-year-old Idaho man who has spent most of his life in correctional facilities was sentenced to an additional three to 10 years in prison Tuesday.

Colton Copeland pleaded guilty in November to attacking two jailers at Five County Detention Center, reported The Post Register (http://bit.ly/1SON4sJ ). A nonbinding plea agreement stipulated that the sentences for each attack could run concurrently, but District Judge Gregory Moeller made them consecutive instead.

The judge said Copeland's 12 prior juvenile convictions and his lack of success on probation were factors in his decision. He also cited a presentence investigation report that said Copeland sometimes heard voices compelling him to hurt people.

"You've been respectful every time you've been before me," Moeller told Copeland. "But the picture painted for me is one of the most dangerous people I've ever met."

Copeland fought with an officer while staying at the detention center on June 16. While awaiting trial for fighting a jailer, he attacked another jailer on Oct. 17 at the St. Anthony Juvenile Correction Center.

His attorney, Paul Butikofer, said Copeland's first contact with law enforcement was at age 7. By age 8, said the lawyer, Copeland was incarcerated.

Butikofer said mental health court is reviewing Copeland's application. The 19-year-old has diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder and attention deficit disorder, along with a possible diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder.

"He's been totally institutionalized," Butikofer said. "He is a risk no matter how you slice it . I think he deserves a chance, he might last a week, he might last a couple, he might graduate (from mental health court). I hope he does."

Moeller said he doesn't think Copeland would be a good fit for mental health court because of his violent history, and said he would reconsider the case if the Copeland is accepted.

"Mental health court may be good for you, but I'm not sure you would be good for mental health court," the judge said.

Before he was sentenced Tuesday, Copeland said he wants to change and get out of the system.

"Before, I wanted to live the life of a criminal," he said. "I want to try to understand why I do what I do. Now I want help."

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Information from: Post Register, http://www.postregister.com

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The Associated Press

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