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Sentencing postponed for retired Arizona prisons boss who pleaded no-contest in armed standoff

PHOENIX (AP) — Sentencing was postponed Thursday for former Arizona prisons chief Charles Ryan on his no-contest plea to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from a 2022 armed standoff at his Tempe home.

The postponement occurred because Ryan’s lawyer requested a separate hearing to present evidence favorable to his client. It’s unclear whether Ryan will be sentenced after the Feb. 9 mitigation hearing or whether the punishment will be imposed later.

Police say Ryan fired a gun inside his home and pointed a firearm at two officers during the three-hour standoff. Outside of court Thursday, Ryan declined to comment to reporters.

The plea agreement for Ryan, who retired as corrections director in September 2019, calls for a sentence of probation and an $8,500 payment to cover the Tempe Police Department’s costs in conducting the investigation. The offense carries a maximum sentence of up to two years in prison.

Police were called to Ryan’s house Jan. 6, 2022, on a report that he had shot himself in the hand. Police later revealed that the hand injury was caused by a less-than-lethal projectile fired by police after Ryan pointed a handgun at officers. They say the projectile was found during surgery.

Ryan also was injured when he fired his gun before police arrived. He apparently suffered a cut to the forehead after a bullet hit a bathroom sink and sent a splinter of porcelain flying.

Police reports say Ryan had consumed half a bottle of tequila before officers arrived at his property. Police say he slurred his words, was antagonistic toward a negotiator and did not know why officers were there or what had happened to his injured hand.

Ryan told police he didn’t remember pointing a gun at officers. He acknowledged drinking tequila that evening, though he said he had just two shots.

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The Associated Press

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