Man gets prison in Vegas jail guards bat attack

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LAS VEGAS (AP) - A Las Vegas man whose lawyer said he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic was sentenced Monday to three to 10 years in Nevada state prison for attacking Clark County jail guards with a baseball bat last September.

Michael Marcel Law stood in shackles and told Clark County District Court Judge Carolyn Ellsworth that he didn’t think he hit anyone in the Sept. 11 attack.

“I swung at the man but I never touched the man,” Law said.

Even Law’s public defender, Sonny Bonaventure, said it was clear from security video recordings that Law attacked guards in the lobby of the downtown Las Vegas jail.

Law, who doctors declared fit for trial, pleaded guilty Jan. 7 to battery with a deadly weapon in a plea deal that avoided the possibility of trial on charges including attempted murder that could have gotten him decades in prison.

Police said Law walked into the lobby of the Clark County Detention Center and swung the bat several times with both hands, striking one officer in the head, neck, jaw and hand. The officer escaped serious injury and was able to tackle Law while other officers swarmed the area.

Ellsworth credited jail officers with restraint for not killing or severely injuring Law.

“It could have been a very bad outcome,” the judge said.

Ellsworth declared Law a threat to the community. But she said she was imposing a sentence greater than the two years Law’s public defender asked for but less than the four years that prosecutors sought.

Bonaventure said Law, 25, was diagnosed with schizophrenia five years ago and hadn’t taken his medication when he armed himself with a bat and a knife and went to the jail.

“Clearly, he was not thinking straight,” Bonaventure said.

Law later told police he was upset about how police handled a complaint that he’d been robbed.

Las Vegas police said they couldn’t find a report about such a case.


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