Patrick Feaster, the former Paradise (CA) police officer who shot a drunk driver in the neck and tried to cover it up, has been sentenced to jail and probation for the death of Andrew Thomas.
Ex-officer Patrick Feaster, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in October, was sentenced to 36 months probation and 180 days in Butte County Jail in court Friday.
At the start of the trial, Judge James F. Reilley said that recommendations from probation was 180 days in custody. He said that he was inclined to follow through with that, but would like to hear from a select few first.
Andrew Thomas, the father of the victim, spoke first.
“I still struggle everyday knowing that I’ll never get to see him again and hear his voice. I’ll never get to hug him and tell him I love him ever again,” said Thomas. He continued “I feel that the penalty for this crime should be the maximum sentence set by law. ”
Feaster was charged in the shooting death of DUI suspect Andrew Thomas in November 2015 and tried in October of 2016. Feaster’s max sentencing could have been five years in jail.
Prosecutor Mike Ramsey didn’t even want to try Feaster for Thomas’s shooting. Feaster drew his weapon, pressed out, and immediately fired at Thomas as Thomas tried to climb out of the overturned vehicle, then concealed the fact he shot Thomas from both the dispatcher and supervisors for eleven long minutes.
Thomas was shot with both hands in view as he attempted to extricate himself from the overturned vehicle. There was no obvious reason for Feaster to draw his weapon. Feaster decision to hide that he fired a shot for eleven minutes even after Thomas told him and other officers that he had been shot in the neck was criminal negligence for which he will apparently never be held accountable.
180 days in jail and 360 days on probation seems to me to be a very short sentence for so casually shooting a man and then attempting to pretend like it didn’t happen, but it’s better than nothing.