- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A Sheridan man convicted of firebombing the Sheridan County attorney’s office must serve 37 years in prison for his crimes, a federal judge ordered Friday.

U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl sentenced Joel S. Elliott in Casper. Skavdahl also ordered Elliott to pay $940,000 in restitution.

Elliott was convicted at a jury trial in October of arson, using a firearm during commission of a crime of violence, possession of an unregistered firearm and making a false declaration before a grand jury.

Elliott’s federal prison time is in addition to a 10-year state sentence he’s serving on stalking and burglary convictions. He was facing prosecution by the Sheridan County attorney’s office on a state forgery charge when its building was damaged by arson last summer.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Crofts said in a statement that Elliott’s actions created a substantial risk of injury to others, including public safety officers who responded to the fire.

“The trial team on this case did an excellent job, from investigation through the successful prosecution of Joel Elliott in this matter,” Crofts said.

ATF Special Agent in Charge Ken Croke said in a written statement that the substantial prison sentence “should be a warning to anyone who thinks arson is acceptable in any circumstance.”

Sheridan County Attorney Matt Redle, whose office was damaged in the fire, said Friday he believes the sentence was appropriate given the lack of concern or thought that Elliott showed toward public safety or the rule of law.

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