Hershley, 30, blew his second and third chances, and now he'll be spending a year in jail for a series of alcohol-related crimes. Zahnd admitted in a press release that he'd tried to go easy on Hershley, who refused to stop screwing up.
"We repeatedly tried to show leniency to this defendant in recognition of his service to our country and the mental issues he said he faced," Zahnd said. "Sadly, he responded only by breaking the law again and again."
Yes, he did. Over and over. In 2009, Hershley was charged with felony DWI assault. Hershley's blood alcohol content was .183 in the November 2007 alcohol-related crash that injured another driver. Yikes! Zahnd did something that will likely end up in a political ad used against him someday: He allowed Hershley to plead guilty to a misdemeanor.
Zahnd says he went soft on Hershley due to his military record and his claim of suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Hershley served 30 days in jail and probation.
Hershley didn't stay out of trouble. Drunk and armed with a military-style assault weapon, he threatened to shoot police officers on April 23, 2010. In a 911 call between Hershley and a negotiator, Hershley said: “I’m gonna tell you something right now. I’m gonna get spooked and [expletive] shoot at somebody. Where are your boys at?”
Not good. Zahnd tired to go easy on Hershley again, charging him with a misdemeanor for possessing a firearm while intoxicated. But Hershley refused a plea deal, so Zahnd tacked on a felony charge of second-degree assault of a law-enforcement officer.
Hershley wasn't done getting drunk and screwing up. A Platte County deputy sheriff pulled him over on August 7 for suspicion of DWI. His blood alcohol content at the time was .140.
"Claims of PTSD cannot result in a get-out-of-jail-free card," Zahnd said in a statement.
A judge rejected Hershley's probation Thursday and ordered the war vet to serve a year in jail. The judge also found Hershley guilty of second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and unlawful use of a weapon for the April 2010 incident. (He'll be sentenced October 28; prosecutors are seeking five years of probation unless Hershley violates the terms of his bond before sentencing.)
The judge wasn't finished with Hershley, finding him guilty of DWI and failure to stay in a single lane for his August arrest, sentencing him to six months in jail and another 15 for those crimes (the sentences will run concurrently with his other sentence).
Sentencing has been postponed until October 28 so Hershley can find an in-patient treatment center for his PTSD.