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Idaho man gets 54 years in prison after shooting officer

UPDATED: Sat., Feb. 6, 2021

Associated Press

BOISE — An Idaho man has been sentenced to 54 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to shooting a police officer last year, a judge said.

District Judge Jonathan Medema sentenced Matthew Stillhallis Kelly, 21, on Friday to up to 54 years in prison, with eligibility for parole after 35 years, in the shooting of Eagle police Officer Brandon Austin, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Kelly, who is from Emmett, pleaded guilty in November to multiple felonies, including grand theft and assault or battery on certain personnel with an aggravated enhancement.

Austin was shot while attempting to pull over Kelly in July after he was seen driving a yellow motorcycle that was believed to be stolen, prosecutors said.

Austin stopped his patrol vehicle during the pursuit after Kelly got off the motorcycle, authorities said. That’s when Kelly shot Austin twice. Austin then put a tourniquet on himself to help stop the bleeding, police said.

Additional officers found Austin and rushed him to the hospital where he underwent surgery and was hospitalized for three days before being released. Ada County sheriff’s office spokesperson Patrick Orr said Austin is still recovering and has not returned to work.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the shooting to help search for Kelly. Kelly later surrendered to police, authorities said. Police say two handguns were found inside Kelly’s backpack.

Kelly has been held at the Canyon County jail on $2 million bail since his arrest in July. It was not immediately clear when he will be transferred to the Idaho Department of Correction to begin his sentence.

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