Arrow-right Camera


Gun nets felon nearly 22 years in prison

Wed., Jan. 9, 2008, midnight

A Colville man who once threatened to kill a Pend Oreille County judge and a deputy prosecutor has been sentenced to almost 22 years in federal prison after being designated an “armed career criminal.”

Matthew R. Descamps, 50, was sentenced Friday to 262 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle. Descamps filed an appeal of the sentence on Monday.

He was convicted by a U.S. District Court jury last September of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

That charge stemmed from a March 25, 2005, incident in which officers from the Colville Police Department and the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported assault and shooting on Oren-Rice Road.

Descamps fired a .32-caliber handgun into the radiator of a truck during an argument with its driver.

Because he was a previously convicted felon, Descamps was prohibited from possessing any firearm or ammunition. After his arrest, the case was referred to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, ultimately leading to his indictment by a federal grand jury.

Because he has three or more prior convictions for crimes of violence, Descamps faced a minimum of 15 years in prison as a federally designated “armed career criminal” after being convicted of the federal firearms charge.

U.S. Attorney Jim McDevitt said Monday the successful prosecution showed ongoing “collaborative partnerships” between local and tribal police agencies and federal law enforcement.

In 2000, Descamps pleaded guilty to one count of felony harassment. The charge was related to threats made to kill a deputy prosecutor and a Pend Oreille judge who prosecuted and sentenced Descamps for assaulting his 13-year-old son during a 1997 camping trip.

Descamps’ criminal record dates back to 1976 when he was convicted in California of first-degree robbery. He has subsequent convictions for burglary, receiving stolen property, malicious mischief and eluding police.

Click here to comment on this story »