450 years in prison, that's what an Oregon man, faces tonight after being convicted of opening fire on CHP officers in a shootout.
44-year old Albert Smith was charged with 25 felony counts stemming from a 2011 high speed chase and shootout on Interstate 5.
The law enforcement community is rejoicing today, knowing that Albert Smith will never be a threat to officers again.
For nine CHP officers and one Sheriff’s deputy, Tuesday’s verdict brought justice.
“It’s a relief and its example that this won’t be tolerated in Shasta or Siskiyou counties,” said Sgt. Ryan Ham of the California Highway Patrol.
Sgt. Ryan Ham was at the wrong end a muzzle when Albert Smith pulled the trigger on October 27th 2011.
“It is something that i have never experienced before, it was something that you would see directly right out of a movie,” said Ham.
After an hour long chase from the Oregon border, Smith finally came to a stop near Castella. After several minutes he produced an AK-47 type gun and started shooting. Officers returned fire but not before their patrol cars were littered with bullets and a police K-9 was injured.
“Every officer got up there and told the truth, and it was evident to the jury that they were just getting up there and recounting what they saw, felt, smelt and lived through that day,” said Deputy D.A. Curtis Woods.
Smith was found guilty on 10 counts of attempted murder on a police officer, 10 counts of assault on a police officer, one count for shooting a police K-9, as well as weapons and other charges.
“The truth came out and there was no issue since they found him guilty of every single charge and every single enhancement,” said Woods.
When sentenced, smith could face up to 450 years in prison which brings comfort to those he shot at.
“It’s a relief, it’s encouraging for the other Highway Patrol and Sheriff’s officers that were involved in this incident on October 27th, 2011," said Ham
The jury convicted smith on most of the charges last Thursday, but because there were so many, deliberations were carried over till Tuesday when they finally announced their decision.