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Sunday, October 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Sentence upheld in Bayview hammer attack

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Court of Appeals has upheld the sentence for a north Idaho man convicted in a violent and fatal rampage in Bayview nearly three years ago.

Larry Cragun, 33, was convicted of first-degree murder, attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault for his attack on neighbors in December 2010. During the rampage, Cragun burst into a home with a hammer and knife, killing Patricia Heath, 43, and injuring three of her relatives.

He was sentenced to life in prison on the murder conviction and fixed, 15-year terms on the other felonies. First District Judge Benjamin Simpson ordered the sentences to be served concurrently and that Cragun spend at least 30 years in prison before being eligible for parole.

In his appeal, Cragun argued those sentences were excessive. At his initial sentencing hearing, defense lawyers argued that the attack was a byproduct of Cragun not being treated properly for a mental illness.

But the Bonner County Daily Bee reports that the appeals court judges rejected Cragun’s appeal, finding instead that his sentence is reasonable under judicial review standards.

“Having reviewed the record in this case, we cannot say that the district court abused its discretion,” the justices wrote in a two-page order issued this week.

Cragun is serving his sentence at the Idaho State Correctional Institutional in Kuna, according to the Idaho Department of Correction. He is eligible for parole in 2040.

Doctors who examined Cragun testified at trial that he had paranoid schizophrenia since at least 2001 and suffered from delusions and hallucinations. Cragun was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, which aggravated his paranoid delusions, experts testified at the trial.

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