A former Los Angeles school police officer who faked his own shooting near El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, prompting a 10-hour police dragnet was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison and five years of probation.
Jeff Stenroos, 31, of Santa Clarita, was given jail time because of the cost involved in the lockdown and manhunt, and the betrayal of trust, according to Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Richard Kirschner, But the judge suspended three years of the term. As long as the former officer meets all the terms of his probation, he will not have to serve the additional three years in jail, the judge said.
But, with prison realignment and time served, Stenroos will likely be released in 271 days from Los Angeles county jail.
During the sentencing, Stenroos cried and apologized for the trouble he'd caused.
"Many have suffered because of my lack of honesty...I am truly sorry," Stenroos said.
Stenroos was taken into custody and ordered by state prison officials to undergo a 90-day evaluation after he was convicted Sept. 12 of one felony count each of insurance fraud, workers' compensation fraud, preparing false documentary evidence and planting false evidence, and one misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting an emergency.
Stenroos faced a maximum penalty of five years in prison. At the end trial, Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Richard Kirschner took under submission a sixth count - filing a false report - which could add up to eight months to Stenroos' sentence.
During the non-jury trial, Stenroos was branded as a serial liar who told fellow officers he'd been shot once while wearing a bulletproof vest.
The Jan. 19 incident triggered a 10-hour, $361,000 manhunt in which an eight-square-mile area was cordoned off and nine schools were locked down.