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Juan Santos-Quintero sentenced for shooting Bingham County deputy

Crime Watch

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Juan Santos-Quintero | Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com

BLACKFOOT– The man who shot a Bingham County Sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to prison.

Juan Santos-Quintero, 23, was given a minimum of 27 years in prison with a possible maximum of life in prison on Monday. District Judge Darren Simpson passed down the sentence after Santos-Quintero had been found guilty on one count of felony aggravated battery upon law enforcement, two counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement, illegally possessing a firearm and grand theft.

He was also found guilty of being a persistent violator, which enhanced his sentence.

Santos-Quintero shot Bingham County Sgt. Todd Howell on Sept. 21, 2018, in Firth with a stolen gun. He also shot at multiple other deputies but did not hit any others. Howell survived the shooting and returned to work a few months later.

RELATED: Juan Santos-Quintero found guilty in shooting of Bingham County deputy

“There is no rehabilitation here,” Bingham County Prosecutor Paul Rogers said in his sentencing statements.

Rogers recommended a 32-year fixed sentence with the possibility of life in prison. He asked for 20 years fixed for battery on law enforcement, six years for assault on law enforcement and six years for grand theft.

Santos-Quintero’s defense recommended a 10-year sentence for the aggravated battery charge. He requested that sentence run concurrently with whatever sentence Santos-Quintero received for the other charges.

“Your history and attitude show an unwillingness to accept responsibility,” Simpson said. “Watching your body language today, you don’t seem to take this seriously.”

RELATED | Deputy describes being hit by bullet as trial begins for man accused of shooting him

During sentencing, Santos-Quintero could be seen smirking at various statements made by the prosecutor and at one point turned around and winked at someone sitting in the gallery.

In a phone call Santos-Quintero made on June 13, while in jail, he was recorded saying he is a “gangster.” He told the unknown person he speaking to that others talk about being “gangster” but aren’t really. He said he’s a gangster because he can’t go more than two months without being put back in jail.

The 27-year minimum sentence was broken down into 20 years fixed for the aggravated battery, with a possible maximum of life. Following the completion of that prison term, Santos-Quintero will have to spend a minimum of seven years in prison for the other charges with the possibility of 20 years in prison.

Santos-Quintero still faces multiple robbery, burglary and aggravated battery charges in Bonneville County.

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