‘I’m just out of my head’: Man given jail time by Boise police
An Ada County judge sentenced a man shot by police officers earlier this year near Timberline High School to up to 10 years in prison Tuesday morning.
Gavin Donithorne (23 years old) admitted in court to sending threatening text messages to his family members and said he wanted the police to kill him.
Donnithorne pleaded guilty to two counts of felony aggravated assault on a police officer and one count of felony eluding, all related to an incident on March 15. Fourth District Court Judge Jonathan Miedema sentenced Donnithorne to five years fixed and five years indeterminate, meaning he will serve at least five years before becoming eligible for parole.
Authorities were searching for Donithorne, who was driving from Oregon to Boise after sending “threatening messages” to his family, police said. The Idaho Statesman previously reported.
Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies located Donithorne in Starr and attempted to stop him, but the defendant “eluded law enforcement at speeds in excess of 100 mph,” and deputies followed his vehicle in pursuit, the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release.
Exiting his car at East Boise Street and Apple Street in Boise, Donithorne pointed and “appeared to fire” a weapon at officers after exiting his car, according to the Boise Police Department, whose officers joined the attempted arrest.
Boise Police Officer Nicholas Quintana, a five-year law enforcement career who joined the department in January, and an unnamed Ada County sheriff’s deputy shot Donithorne, Boise police said.
Police later found a BB gun at the scene, which Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar said “looked very real,” the Statesman previously reported.
After being shot, Donnithorne attempted to flee, but officers detained him, pursued him on foot and transported him to a local hospital for treatment, according to police.
At sentencing, Donithorne recounted his difficulties with mental health, including schizophrenia and depression, and described his history of violence at length. Donithorne had previously been convicted of two counts of third-degree felony assault in Oregon.
Donithorne told court Tuesday that he was suicidal at the time of the March shooting and didn’t want to hurt anyone but himself.
“I’m just out of my head,” Donithorne said. “I was deliberately trying to harm myself and attempting suicide. All I really wanted in life was to be part of something. I felt very depressed.”
Miedema noted that Donnithorne appeared to have anger issues, and the judge was concerned by the threatening messages the Oregon man sent before his arrest. Miedema said he hopes prison time will make Donithorne think more seriously about consequences in the future.
Miedema said: “The only tool I have is to take away freedom because America is a regime that values people’s freedom.” “I’m glad to hear you say you value what you have because, hopefully, that means losing it will change your behavior.”
In addition to the prison sentence, the judge ordered Donithorne to pay restitution for the bank window that was smashed during the shooting.
Now that Donithorne has been sentenced, the Boise Police Department is expected to release more information about the shooting, including a Serious Incident Task Force report and body camera footage.
The warrant will be available later this week, Boise Police spokeswoman Haley Williams told the Idaho Statesman.