Police Shooter Gets 30 Years

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Lenny Kizzar, who was convicted last year of the attempted murder of Payson Police Officer Alan Dyer, was sentenced last week to 30 years in the Arizona State Prison.

Superior Court Judge Edd Dawson said Monday that he sentenced Kizzar to 30 years in prison two more years than normal under maximum sentencing due to mitigating and aggravating circumstances.

Dawson said he handed down a longer sentence because:

Kizzar was on parole at the time of the shooting;

He fired one shot at the officer, walked away, turned and fired again;

He attempted to carjack an occupied vehicle while trying to escape;

And he fled to a residential neighborhood, where shots were fired while officers were chasing him.

"The 30-year sentence is the super aggravated term," Dawson said. "That's in excess of the maximum. And, Mr. Kizzar will have to do at least 85 percent of that sentence before he's eligible for parole."

The conviction stems from the 1999 shooting of Dyer at the old Payson Wal-Mart. The afternoon of Oct. 30, 1999, Kizzar wandered through the Payson Village Shopping Center carrying a gun, and was in front of Wal-Mart by the time police caught up with him. Dyer came face to face with the suspect as scores of shoppers milled in and out of the store. Kizzar fired twice at Dyer before fleeing into a nearby neighborhood. Officers caught the suspect moments later.

Dyer was severely injured in the attack, and remained on the department's injured list for nearly a year. The officer returned to full-time duty in Payson last summer.

Kizzar was convicted last July of two counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault and misconduct involving a weapon.

He pleaded guilty to all of the charges.

Dawson said the aggravated assault and the weapons charges were not only considered dangerous offenses, but also repetitive. Kizzar had previous felony convictions for forgery, burglary and theft.

While waiting for his sentence in this case, Kizzar a felon who is prohibited from owning a gun was already serving a four-year sentence for theft of a gun out of Navajo County.

Kizzar will spend the next 60 days at the state prison's Alhambra diagnostic facility for evaluation.

"That's where they'll determine where he should go," Dawson said. "If the inmate is useful, he'll be sent to one place. If he's got a drug or alcohol problem, he'll be sent somewhere else. Most likely, Kizzar will be sent to the prison complex at Florence."

Because of Truth in Sentencing laws, Kizzar will not be eligible for parole for 25.5 years.

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