Thane Michael Gray

Thane Michael Gray appears Wednesday in Gallatin County District Court. 

A Bozeman man was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in the Montana State Prison with seven suspended for assaulting two police officers and a woman in 2018.

Thane Michael Gray, 27, is also required to complete 40 hours of counseling and pay $798 in hospital bills for two officers involved in the assault and for a broken pair of sunglasses. He was given credit for 451 days previously served in the Gallatin County jail.

Gray appeared in Gallatin County District Court before Judge John Brown.

In September, Gray pleaded guilty to assault on a peace officer and assault with a weapon, both felonies. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop charges for resisting arrest and partner or family member assault, both misdemeanors that could have carried up to six months in jail and up to a $1,500 fine.

In July 2018, Gray assaulted a woman at his home after a night of drinking, according to charging documents. The woman tried to leave, but Gray followed her out and struck her with a metal mop handle until it broke, police said in charging documents.

The woman was able to get away. She flagged someone down who took her to a family member’s home on South 19th Avenue. She reported the assault to police.

Gray refused to come out of his home when two officers got there. Police said in charging documents that one officer tried to breach the front door twice when Gray stepped out and struck him in the head with his fist, breaking the officer’s glasses. The officer stumbled backwards off the porch and fell on the trunk of a large tree in the front yard.

Gray wrestled with the officers until six additional officers arrived to the scene and restrained Gray, court documents state.

At the hearing on Wednesday, Gray apologized to the people involved in the incident, including the officers, and said his actions were unprofessional and immature. He said he felt bad and didn’t mean for it to escalate like it did.

“If those two men were in here right now, I’d shake their hand for not shooting me because I know where I messed up. I know where I went wrong,” Gray said.

Alex Jacobi, Gray’s attorney, said Gray misunderstood his rights and thought the officers weren’t allowed to come into his house the way they did. Gray’s response, Jacobi said, was motivated by self-defense.

“He was wrong. He misunderstood his rights,” Jacobi said.

Jacobi said that Gray is not anti-law enforcement. Gray is a veteran, he said, and doesn’t need further instruction on respect and authority.

Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.

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