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2:29 PM Tue, Nov. 20th

Man who hit officer with gun faces a decade in prison

Jack Richard Cline

Jack Richard Cline

PRESCOTT - Jack Richard Cline, indicted on nine weapons-related charges including assault on a law enforcement officer, pleaded guilty to nine charges, some new, some lesser, Wednesday in Yavapai County Superior Court.

Cline, 30, was arrested in June after police said he admitted striking an officer in the head with a handgun while being taken into custody. Prescott Valley police officer Gerald McNally was among several officers responding to a call of a disorderly person near Robert and Valley Roads about 2 a.m. on June 13.

McNally spotted Cline walking in the 3100 block of Windsong Drive, said Sgt. Brandon Bonney, Prescott Valley Police Department spokesman, and Cline ran.

McNally gave chase, and caught Cline a short time later.

Bonney said Cline struck McNally with a gun while he was being arrested; in court Wednesday, Cline characterized it as an accident. "As I was being tackled, I swung my arms and I hit him with the gun," he said.

That earned him a charge of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon, a class 2 felony, to which he pleaded guilty.

Because he had a prior felony conviction and was on probation, he was not allowed to possess weapons. But Cline admitted that he had two of them, a 9mm Smith & Wesson and a .233 Thompson, both stolen.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of misconduct with weapons by a prohibited possessor, as well as two counts of theft of a firearm, two counts of burglary and one of attempted burglary.

For all that, Cline could have faced up to 35 years in prison. However, Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley said that she was "comfortable" with the plea agreement's suggested sentence of between 10 and 14.5 years.

Cline will be sentenced next month.