Wal-Mart shooter gets life sentence
WILKES-BARRE (WOLF) -- The Shenandoah man convicted of shooting at police officers near Wal-Mart in Wilkes Barre Township in 2015 was sentenced to a lifetime behind bars today.
The wife and son of one of the officers testified in court about the impact this case has had on their family.
On that Saturday, Conor Bouton was on the way home from a friend's house.
His dad, who'd never been shot at in 17 years of police work, went from a King's College football detail to an active shooter outside Wal-Mart.
"I didn't think my dad was coming home that day or all the other officers," says Bouton, 11. "I first heard about it on Facebook and they twist stories that there was people shot, people dead."
Scott Sargent, 33, was firing shots near the Wal-Mart auto garage and kept shooting at arriving officers.
At the trial, Officer Brian Bouton had testified he was driving forward in his police SUV while Sargent was firing at him. He ducked down just as a bullet went through his headrest.
"I heard it and felt pieces of the glass," says Brian Bouton. "He put the AR-15 on the roof on his car, so he was able to look through the scope, and basically put my head in his scope when he pulled the trigger."
Brian tried to shield his son from the details, but says Conor wanted to come to the trial, and had been affected anyway.
"Him seeing me the way I was with the nightmares and everything else, the PTSD that comes along with every other situation like this," says Brian Bouton.
"I'm not sorry for how long he's going away, and I'm sorry for all the officers involved," says Conor Bouton.
"I think about it every night I fall asleep," says Wilkes Barre City Officer Alan Gribble.
Stacey Bouton heard at a competency hearing that Sargent had troubles growing up, but told him in court that it's no excuse.
"Nobody's life is perfect, but at the same time you can change that. You can make your life better if you've had a rough upbringing," says Stacey Bouton.
In court, the prosecutor told Judge David Lupas that Sargent now has a tattoo with a skull and five tombstones, which bear the names of the five officers that go along with his five attempted murder counts.
"It just shows what kind of person that he is and that he has absolutely no remorse," says Gribble. "I think pathetic would be the best term."
"Anybody who was within certain feet of that incident that day was in jeopardy and these officers saved their lives, their own lives, and Mr. Sargent's life by not critically injuring him," says prosecutor Jarrett Ferentino.
Sargent's sentence was 179 to 358 years. He declined his chance to speak before sentencing, but Ferentino says the tattoo he got "speaks volumes" in itself.
The defense said Sargent had drug, alcohol, and mental health issues, and had lost both parents. He will get credit for time served since October 2015 and is also ordered to pay restitution.