BOISE, Idaho — A Boise man who used a stolen van to ram Boise Police patrol vehicles and threatened officers in July 2021 is going to prison for at least 10 years.
District Judge Derrick O'Neill on Tuesday sentenced Ezra Smith, 26, to serve 25 years in prison, with 10 years fixed before he is eligible for parole. An Ada County jury on March 30 convicted Smith of two counts of aggravated assault or battery on certain personnel and use of a deadly weapon in committing those crimes. Before trial, he pleaded guilty to one count each of grand theft, attempted petit theft, fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance.
Boise Police officers were pursuing Smith on July 11, 2021, after witnesses reported a man driving a van recklessly on Overland Road near Cole Road. The officers had learned the van had been reported as stolen. When they tried to contact the driver, he swerved into the police cars and repeatedly rammed a BPD patrol vehicle with an officer inside, then used the same van to threaten another BPD officer.
While trying to take Smith into custody, an officer shot him. He was charged after being treated at the hospital.
Smith was on probation for felony drug delivery and vandalism crimes at the time of his arrest.
At sentencing, Judge O'Neill said he could not discount the findings from the jurors who determined Smith "clearly intended to batter and assault police officers -- the very people that protect this community."
Smith had previously filed a $1.27 million claim against BPD alleging excessive force.
The claim states the police allegedly shot at him while unarmed.
“Unarmed potential suspect (myself) shot at through a windshield and passenger side window a total of twelve times. Struck physically six times, two of six shots were in the back,” Smith wrote in the claim.
The Valley County prosecutor later determined the officers who shot Smith were justified in their actions.
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