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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Washington man sentenced to life after crime spree that ended in Montana

Aug. 24, 2022 Updated Wed., Aug. 24, 2022 at 8:48 p.m.

Jesse Spitzer  (From Jesse Spitzer's Facebook page)
Jesse Spitzer (From Jesse Spitzer's Facebook page)

A man who went on a multi-state crime spree throughout the Inland Northwest in January was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month.

Jesse Spitzer, 30, of Sultan, Washington, pleaded guilty to 16 charges in July, including aggravated assault, aggravated assault on law enforcement, possession of a stolen vehicle and robbery. He was sentenced on Aug. 12.

Spitzer was arrested in Montana on Jan. 27 after leading authorities on a chase that began in Kellogg, Idaho. Spitzer was accused of stealing five cars and leading authorities on six car chases in Washington, Idaho, and Montana before he was arrested. The U.S. Marshals task force began searching for Spitzer after he allegedly committed crimes in Idaho and threatened law enforcement officers with a firearm.

“The crimes committed go beyond property loss or fear of the moment,” Idaho’s First District Judge Lamont Berecz said in the court minutes. “It is easy to forget and think about the elements of the crime. You forget about how crimes truly affect people. It goes beyond money or loss of property. There is a violation of self.”

No one was killed or injured in the crime spree, although there was a bullet hole through a vehicle, prosecuting attorney Julia Schoffstall said.

Spitzer’s defense attorney, Benajmin Onosko, noted that his client suffers from a psychotic disorder. The judge also noted that he was a “different person” before receiving mental health treatment after his arrest.

“You have a history of disregard for people’s lives and willingness to shoot/kill someone who may stop you,” Berecz said in court documents. “This is frightening and demands accountability.”

Spitzer will be eligible for parole after 20 years when he is 50 years old.

Spitzer was convicted in 2011 for shooting at law enforcement officer in Nevada and spent eight years in prison.

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