Man who shot at Klamath County deputies sentenced

CHILOQUIN, Ore. – A man pleaded guilty except for insanity after he shot at Klamath County deputies.

Prosecutors said in January of 2020, 55-year-old Steven Earl White called 9-1-1 numerous times saying irrational and illogical statements. Eventually, it got to the point where two deputies were dispatched to his home. When they got there, White yelled at them and told them to get off his property. Then, he began shooting at the deputies from inside his home.

The Klamath County District Attorney’s Office said the deputies’ vehicles were damaged, but they were not hurt.

Police said White barricaded himself inside his home while a SWAT team was called in. Before the team arrived, White reportedly lit a fire in a bid to avoid being arrested. That didn’t work though, and White was forced to get out of the home as it burned. He was taken into custody and charged with two counts of attempted aggravated murder, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, one count of improper use of 9-1-1 and one count of criminal mischief.

Prosecutors said White was deemed mentally unfit for trial, so he was sent to the Oregon State Hospital to be treated for his underlying mental condition. Eventually, doctors were able to help White get to a place where he understood the nature of the charges and aid in his defense.

On December 15, White pleaded guilty but insane to both counts of attempted aggravated murder.

Because he was found to be a danger to others, he was sentenced to 40 years in the custody of the Oregon State Hospital Psychiatric Security Review Board.

Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber said he’s grateful White will no longer pose a threat to the community.

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