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?