'You could end up dead,' judge warns Justin Wiseman
'If this isn't his Jesus moment, I don't know when it's going to come,' says defence lawyer
Justin Wiseman, 22, who was involved in an armed standoff with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in May, was handed a lengthy prison sentence on Friday.
In provincial court on Thursday, Wiseman pleaded guilty to a total of 17 charges — two armed robberies, as well as weapons offences in relation to the nine-hour standoff on Springdale St. in St. John's.
Wiseman held up a store in Paradise last November, getting away with $400.
On May 11, he again wielded a knife and held up City Superette in downtown St. John's. He left the scene with $300 and about a dozen packs of cigarettes.
Later that same day, Wiseman was involved in an armed standoff just around the corner from the convenience store.
During the standoff, he asked police to shoot him, and said, "I am going to die tonight."
Because Wiseman had been drinking and had taken a quantity of sleeping pills earlier in the day, he fell asleep. The RNC's Tactics and Rescue Unit entered the house where Wiseman had been staying.
After waking up and negotiationing briefly, Wiseman gave police a sawed-off shotgun and gave himself up.
For the armed robberies, weapons charges, theft and other offences, the Crown and defence asked for a five-year sentence, on top of the time Wiseman has served since May.
The court was told Wiseman is troubled and has a problem with alcohol.
"(Wiseman) must be separated from society. His behaviour is dangerous, but he is a young man with prospects for rehabilitation," said Crown prosecutor Danny Vavasour.
"If this isn't his Jesus moment, I don't know when it will come," said Arnold Hussey, one of Wiseman's defence lawyers.
Another of his lawyers, Kevin Baker, said Wiseman accepting responsibility for his actions is a stepping stone for rehabilitation.
Wiseman apologized to the people on Springdale St. for the standoff, and to the store employees.
"They didn't deserve me coming in and threatening them. I have been running from my problems, and now have to turn this into a positive outcome," said Wiseman.
If this isn't his Jesus moment, I don't know when it will come- Arnold Hussey, one of Justin Wiseman's defence lawyers
Judge Mike Madden said he was glad to hear that statement and said, "If you don't change your ways, when you come out, you could end up dead, and take someone with you."
Madden said the five years and time served is an appropriate sentence.
Wiseman may have even more prison time to assist with his rehabilitation. He's facing charges for his alleged role in the riot at Her Majesty's Penitentiary in August.
He is also slated to stand trial for uttering threats and breaching a court order.
Wiseman will be back in court on the other charges on Dec. 2.