20-Year-Old Man Gets 40 Years for 2 Counts of Attempted Capital Murder

AMARILLO -- 20-year-old Justin Szalla, of Springfield, Missouri, pled guilty to two counts of Attempted Capital Murder of two Hansford County Deputies.  

Szalla is sentenced to serve 40 years in the Texas Department of Corrections.

Back in October 2013, a Hansford County Deputy stopped to help Szalla and a 16 year old juvenile on a rural state highway in Hansford County.  

After finding out car was stolen out of Springfield, the Deputy handcuffed Szalla and the juvenile and placed them in the back of his Sheriffs pickup.  

A second Hansford County Deputy arrived and both Deputies began searching the stolen vehicle.  

Szalla got a hold of the rifle from the vehicle and began firing at the two Deputies who took cover in front of the stolen car.  20 rounds were fired between Szalla and the two deputies.  

After the rifle jammed, Szalla ran down the highway where a third responding Deputy saw him and placed him into custody.  The juvenile was not involved in the shooting.  

No one was shot during the incident.       

In exchange for his guilty pleas, Szalla waived his right to a trial by jury and he further waived his right of appeal and the sentence will begin immediately. 

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