Levi Hawley, 35, was sentenced to as many as 12 years in prison with retained jurisdiction for the first year.
It is not unusual for law enforcement to take the stand in legal proceedings against a defendant charged with multiple felonies, but in a north-central Idaho courtroom on Thursday, a county sheriff took the stand to offer testimony on behalf of the defendant.
The Lewiston Tribune this morning reports Lewis County Sheriff Brian Brokop testified that Levi Hawley, 35, who has been convicted on drug and firearm charges, was a model inmate at the county jail and even started a Bible study and alcohol counseling program while incarcerated.
Hawley was involved in a November 2014 armed standoff in a Lewiston neighborhood after he allegedly threatened to harm his parents and used a child as a human shield. At the time of his arrest, police also discovered meth and a firearm in his possession.
On Thursday, Brokop told the court that Hawley had a "phenomenal" impact on the morale of other inmates at the county jail. The Tribune reports county prosecutors pushed back against the sheriff's testimony, arguing that Hawley's behavior was much different when he was not locked up.
"They only know Mr. Hawley when he is in custody, not when he is out of custody," argued prosecutor April Smith. "He's fine when things are going his way; when they're not, he becomes violent."
Idaho 2nd District Court Judge Thomas Callery sentenced Hawley to two to 12 years in prison, with retained jurisdiction for the first year, allowing Haley to attend a prison rehabilitation program.
Felonies were filed Oct. 21 against March, who has been charged with felony counts of 1st Degree Murder, Burglary and Grand Theft. Barclay has been charged with felony counts of Burglary and Grand Theft, and is currently in custody.