A 25-year-old ex-con from Butler who told a judge that he pointed a loaded rifle at police hoping that they would shoot him was sentenced to 12 years in state prison.
Dylan Howard will have to serve at least six years behind bars before he will be eligible for parole in exchange for guilty pleas to several charges.
Howard, also known as Dylan Hannah, told a judge in Morristown that he hoped police would shoot and kill him when he pointed the weapon at Butler Police Officer Jorge Reyes inside his grandmother's house in March 2016.
Howard apparently tried getting help twice for his heroin addiction but was turned away because hospital workers suspected he was high at the time, according to published reports.
Police went looking for Howard after a shoplifting at a local Lowes and a car burglary at Noah's Arc Preschool, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp said.
He had a criminal record, with convictions -- including two drug-dealing arrests, in 2014 and 2016, in Bergen County.
Howard fled to a vacant Butler home where he'd been squatting, then left disguised as an old woman, the prosecutor said.
Police found him at his grandmother's house shortly after, then shot him four times in the chest when he raised the rifle and pointed it in what he later admitted was an attempt at "suicide by cop."
Howard pleaded guilty to weapons charges -- which included being a felon in possession of a firearm -- aggravated assault by pointing a weapon at a law enforcement officer, burglary and shoplifting in exchange for leniency at sentencing.
Handling the case was Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Sandler.
Knapp has praise for Sgt. Reyes.
"While facing the worst imaginable scenario for an officer, [he] performed calmly under the pressure," the prosecutor said. "I commend him for that.”
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