A Biloxi man was jealous, drunk and hurt when he forced his way into an Ocean Springs home, put a gun to a couple's heads and threatened to kill them, he admitted Monday in court.
Jason Randell Smith said he was hurt and depressed over his ex-girlfriend's new beau when he forced his way into their home armed with a loaded gun and extra ammunition.
Smith, 31, apologized to the couple when he pleaded guilty Monday to a burglary of an inhabited dwelling. He pleaded for leniency and no prison time, pointing out he had been going to school and trying to improve himself since the incident on Nov. 2, 2015.
He told Judge Dale Harkey he'd never do anything like that again.
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But Assistant District Attorney Bill Barrett fired back, saying, "These people were terrorized," and Smith deserved some time in prison despite an otherwise clean record.
Smith, Barrett pointed out, was an avid gun owner who spent time at a gun range perfecting his skills. He said the entire incident could have been much worse had a third person not been able to sneak out of the home to call police for help during the attack.
Smith's attorney, Keith Miller, urged the judge to consider no prison time for Smith because he had no prior criminal history, including any misdemeanor offenses. In addition, Miller said, Smith had a history of major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder over the loss of two friends in tragic circumstances.
Judge Dale Harkey decided prison was in order.
"This is a horrible thing you did," Harkey said, before sentencing Smith to 20 years in prison, with three years to serve, plus fines and court costs.