STEUBEN COUNTY, N.Y. -- The man convicted of charges that he shot at police during a chase in Steuben County was sentenced on Friday.
Richard Vangorden will spend 40 years to life in prison. He was found guilty of attempted murder, tampering with physical evidence, criminal possession of firearm, and reckless endangerment in connection with the incident back in September of 2011.
State Police said they tried to pull Vangorden over in Hornellsville, but he refused and drove toward troopers head-on, swiped a patrol vehicle, and kept going until he shot at them. Vangorden was then taken into custody following a standoff in Wellsville. He later said he wasn't trying to kill anyone - he just didn't want to lose his girlfriend, who was wanted by police at the time of the incident.
Vangorden's attorney said the lengthy sentence did not surprise him.
Defense attorney Terry Baxter said, "I was expecting the District Attorney to do exactly what he did, which was to advocate for the maximum sentence allowable under the law. And I expected the court to take into consideration all of the prior criminal record of Mr. Vangorden as he recited on the record and sentence him accordingly. I was certainly anticipating this would be a very severe sentence given the nature of the criminal act...acts."
The sentence could have been even longer if the judge had decided to have them run consecutively.