Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

November 8, 2013

Grawn shooter sentenced to 54 years

TRAVERSE CITY — A judge told a Grawn man convicted of trying to kill law enforcement officers in an April standoff that it was “fortunate” the incident ended with a sentencing hearing rather than a funeral.

Thirteenth Circuit Court Judge Thomas Power today gave a 27- to 54-year sentence to Richard Radcliffe, 50. Power said Radcliffe “lured” two sheriff’s deputies and a conservation officer to his Blair Township mobile home with the intent of shooting and killing them with an assault rifle.

Bullets flew across Sunburst Street, but no one was injured before Radcliffe surrendered. A jury in October found Radcliffe guilty of seven of nine criminal counts, including intending to kill two of the officers.

Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney said Radcliffe posed a danger to the public and Power responded with a fair sentence. He said the law enforcement officers who responded to Radcliffe’s house in April deserve recognition.

“I just want to say I am thankful we have men and women who take risks to serve and protect the community,” he said.

Defense attorney Dena Horvath said Radcliffe plans to appeal. She said her client’s mental health was a significant factor in the incident — Radcliffe, who has a liver disease, was suicidal, intoxicated and off his medication — and an argument in appeal.

“I believe Mr. Radcliffe was the first victim and that’s from the mental health aspect,” Horvath said. “When he’s on his medication he’s a completely different person.”

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