Kansas inmate sentenced for attacking prosecutor

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HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A Hutchinson man already serving nearly 14 years for molesting an infant was sentenced Monday to more than 21 additional years for a courtroom attack on a county prosecutor.

Michael Sherman apologized in court to Reno County District Attorney Keith Schroeder for last year’s 2013 assault but indicated he will appeal both the sentence and his conviction for attempted first-degree murder, The Hutchinson News reported.

Schroeder was left with red marks on his throat when Sherman, his belly and hands in chains, leaped from his chair on July 10, 2013, and put the district attorney in a headlock. A jailer quickly knocked the two to the floor, but it took several people to pull Schroeder free.

The attack happened just after a judge had reaffirmed Sherman’s life sentence for aggravated criminal sodomy of a child. That sentence was reduced earlier this year by Reno County District Judge Trish Rose, who also sentenced Sherman Monday for the assault on Schroeder.

Sherman was convicted in 2012 of sodomizing a 4-month-old baby — a crime for which he had reported himself to police after talking to his pastor.

During his attempted murder trial last month, Sherman testified that he had thought about “getting at the DA” prior to the attack but that he lunged at Schroeder spontaneously.

“It never was my intent to kill him, or even attempt to do so,” Sherman testified. “I just wanted to go after him. I’m guilty of assault, but I never thought about murder.”

Sherman’s appointed attorney, Peter Orsi, asked Rose on Monday to depart from sentencing guidelines and impose a 16-year sentence, arguing that the district attorney sustained only “a bump and a scrape.”

“But for whom the victim was and where, it would have been a battery on law enforcement” rather than attempted premeditated murder, Orsi said.

But Assistant Attorney General Steven Karrer requested a sentence of more than 22 years, contending the justice system had been harmed by the attack and it was necessary to send “a powerful message.”

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