Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Las Vegas Shooter Gets 26 to 90 Years

The Associated Press reports on the extremely harsh sentence given to the man who shot up the New York New York Casino two years ago.

A 53-year-old unemployed house painter apologized to his victims before he was sentenced Monday to 26 to 90 years in prison for opening fire with a handgun and wounding four people in a Las Vegas Strip casino more than two years ago.

"Please forgive me for my actions," Steven Francis Zegrean said, standing in shackles before Clark County District Court Judge David Barker, who moments later meted out a harsher sentence than the 16 to 64 years recommended in a state pre-sentencing report.

"I know I will go to prison," Zegrean said during his only public statement since his gun jammed after the 16th shot and he was tackled by two off-duty military reservists on a balcony at the New York-New York casino early July 6, 2007.

What kind of a gun is that, I wonder? Sixteen shots and it only stopped because of a jam? And I wonder where it came from, if he owned it legally?

What do you think about the severity of the sentence? To me it seems a bit heavy for only wounding 4 people. The article goes on to say he was charged with one count of attempted murder for every shot fired. Is that ridiculous, or what?

Zegrean was not motivated by hatred, his lawyer told the judge, and there was no evidence he aimed at people when he began peppering the casino floor with bullets. Zegrean even asked the first police officer who interviewed him whether anybody had been wounded.

Shouldn't his obvious mental impairment have been taken into consideration? One theory is that this was more an attempted suicide by cop than attempted murder.

What's your opinion?


  1. "What kind of a gun is that, I wonder? Sixteen shots and it only stopped because of a jam?"

    Who knows.

    I have a handgun which holds 120 rounds.

    Not relevent.

  2. This is the second time you have made a statement involving a firearm sentence being harsh because they perpetrator "only harmed" someone (or a group of people).

    When you shoot a gun at a person, there's a chance you will KILL are basically accepting that the death of the target is a possibility, even if not the intended outcome. He injured 4 people, and likely endangered a number of others...

    If he released a deadly nerve gas in the building, but it diffused enough that only 4 people got sick, how harsh would you feel the sentence should be?

    As for shooting 16 rounds? Most modern firearms can do this (the majority without jamming), so I'm not quite clear what you're asking here.

  3. kaveman, The last gun I ever held in my hand was in 1984, one which was legally owned by my best friend by the way, was a Beretta of some kind. The magazine held 14 rounds, I think. Forgive my ignorance but what kind of magazine holds 16 plus rounds, and with even more amazement I ask what kind holds 150. Would you describe them please.

    cj, Yes I say "only wounded" when questioning the length of the sentence. Assuming you're gonna have an ascending scale with the increasing severity of the crime, where the hell do you go from here? That's my question.

  4. "where the hell do you go from here?"

    Life. Or death penalty.


    18 round Beretta Magazine. They make 'em bigger too.

    These new mags use a clockwork spring rather than a coil one. Sadly I can't get them here to test them out. It would be worth the steep price just for the nifty factor:

    I'm just curious Mike, what's the difference between a 14 round magazine and an 18, or 20?

  6. One theory is that this was more an attempted suicide by cop than attempted murder.

    Umm in what world? He shot 4 people I think that pretty damn well qualifies as "Attempted Murder"

  7. Four counts of it!

    Just because he was unsuccessful doesn't mean he's any less dangerous.