Man Convicted, Sentenced for Shooting at Wildlife Officer in Poaching Case
January 23, 2018
The man was accused of shooting at an officer, who chased him and an accomplice during a poaching investigation.
A California man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted of trying to shoot a state wildlife officer during a chase in 2016.
According to a California Department of Fish and Wildlife news release, Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr., 25, of Humboldt County, was convicted of assault with a firearm upon a peace officer with an enhancement of personally using a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, using threats and violence upon an executive officer, negligently discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle, and one misdemeanor violation of "spotlighting" (using artificial light to poach wildlife).
On Jan. 16, Humboldt County Superior Court Judge John T. Feeney issued a 20-year sentence; by law, Hof must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence.
"We are pleased with the sentence handed down by Judge Feeney," David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division, said in the news release. "It took a dangerous felon out of the community making it safer for the citizens of Humboldt County."
In the early morning hours of Aug. 21, 2016, a CDFW wildlife officer was patrolling in Carlotta, in Humboldt County, when he saw a pickup truck with two occupants using spotlights on Redwood House Road near Highway 36.
The officer attempted to make a traffic stop, but the truck sped away. During the chase, someone in the back of the truck — believed to be Hof — fired at the officer.
The truck crashed and the suspects ran away.
Hof was on the run for almost a year. He turned himself into police on Aug. 10, 2017.
The driver sped away when the officer attempted an enforcement stop. During the subsequent pursuit, Hof began shooting at the wildlife officer from the truck. The suspects crashed their vehicle into a tree and escaped into the woods. Hof was on the run for more than a year.
Hof's accomplice, Thomas Wheeler, 19, of Fortuna was sentenced last month to a suspended sentence of eight years in state prison for his role in the case.
Read more from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife