- Associated Press - Thursday, March 28, 2019

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A 19-time felon suspected of escaping from authorities, getting shot by Las Vegas police and leading a wild chase in a stolen truck stood before a judge the next day, his arm in a bandage, to be sentenced to life in prison.

Christopher Gregory Ganci, 52, stood shackled in court Thursday, surrounded by heavily armed police guards and a medic, as he told Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Smith he wasn’t a violent man and deserved another chance. While not named by police in the attempted escape, Ganci acknowledged that he “took a bullet” the day before.

“I never hurt anybody. I’m no danger to the public,” Ganci said. “Your honor, I’ve had a long hard life of crime. I’m not a robber or killer.”

But Smith declared Ganci a habitual offender with a history of disregarding judges and parole restrictions.

“At some point you have to say, Mr. Ganci, you can’t be in the public and not break the law,” the judge said. “I think it’s time you pay the consequences.”

Ganci’s sentencing was delayed for a day after he failed to appear in court Wednesday. Smith gave Ganci five consecutive life terms without parole for being found guilty in February of armed robbery, kidnapping, battery and two counts of conspiracy. His 19th conviction was for admitting he had a gun.

He had been accused of abducting and robbing a man who escaped Ganci and a woman at a Las Vegas casino.

Prosecutor John Giordani told Smith that Ganci was convicted previously of 13 felonies in Arizona, California, Illinois and Texas and served multiple stints in prison before moving to Las Vegas.

Ganci has active warrants for his arrest from four states and still faces witness tampering charges in his Las Vegas case, the prosecutor said.

Ganci acknowledged he “took a bullet” on Wednesday, and Giordani said Ganci is expected to face charges related to the attempted escape and police chase.

Police have not named Ganci, but say an officer who accompanied a 52-year-old prisoner in custody to a medical clinic for what was described as a routine procedure shot the man in the left arm when he ran to an unattended pickup truck and drove away.

The wounded man led officers on a wreck-filled chase before surrendering near downtown casinos and the county courthouse, police said.

No bystanders were struck by gunfire and no one was seriously hurt in vehicles rammed by the pickup, police said.

The name of the officer has not been made public. He was placed on paid leave pending departmental and district attorney reviews of the shooting.

Police said it did not appear that two men who left the pickup unattended in the clinic parking lot were connected with Ganci.

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