Posted at: 12/03/2012 9:36 PM
Updated at: 12/03/2012 10:10 PM
By: Steph Crock
(ABC 6 News) -- 42-year-old Brian Jansen led police on a three hour chase through the cornfields of Lyle. He was highly intoxicated and armed with an illegal sawed-off shot gun.
Now, he was given probation for those crimes he committed this summer. Our team sat down with the Mower County Attorney who explained why Jansen didn't get time in prison.
"Not only is he a threat to himself, but others as well,” said Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi at the scene when it happened. This was moments after Jansen emerged from the cornfield with the shotgun in his mouth.
When he wouldn’t cooperate, authorities tazed him and Jansen's gun went off as he fell. The deputy fired his weapon, but Jansen was not hit.
"This was not a case in which he set out to assault officers with a gun. There were some underlying issues that caused him to be out there in the field with the weapon," said Mower County Attorney Kristen Nelsen. She says this is why the assault with a weapon charge was dropped. "In this case, that was dropped because all parties agreed there wasn’t the element of intent there to assault the officers with the weapon," said Nelsen.
Though Jansen's gun did go off, they argue it was because he had been tazed, not because he was trying to shoot an officer.
He was found guilty of assault of a peace officer and for the illegal shotgun, but was only given probation for those, not jail time
This may seem surprising, but sentencing in Minnesota is handled by certain guidelines. "The weight of the offense combined with a person’s criminal history," explained Nelsen.
Following those guidelines meant only probation for Jansen. Of course, probation means Jansen will be under a close watch and could go to jail if he violates this.