Kansas man sentenced to prison in an assault rifle case

A man who officers believed was intending to fire a semi-automatic assault rifle around closing time in a popular Lawrence bar district has been sentenced to 16 months in prison.

The judge told 19-year-old Dayson G. Kelley of Topeka during his sentencing Thursday that he or police officers could have lost their lives, and “that is something that none of us can stomach thinking about,” the Lawrence Journal-World reported.

Kelley was arrested after two Lawrence police officers saw him take a rifle out of the trunk of a vehicle in a parking lot. Police believed he had prepared the weapon for use and intended to fire it.

The officers drew their guns and shouted at Kelley to drop the weapon. He did not comply and instead dropped down behind a car, apparently seeking cover, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

Kelley pleaded no contest in December to two counts of attempted aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer,

“He’s very fortunate that he wasn’t killed or badly wounded by these officers given the circumstances of the case, and I’ve informed him of that and I think he knows that,” defense attorney Jerry Wells said.