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Man Sentenced To Six Years In Attack Of Monroe County Sheriff Deputy
Updated August 5, 2015 8:00 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BLOOMINGTON) - A man who attempted to murder a Monroe County Sheriff Deputy in 2012 received a six year sentenced Tuesday.

Brandon Helms of Gosport pleaded guilty after accepting a plea deal to trying to escape from police custody and hurting Deputy Beverly McKnight

He was originally facing 13 felony charges ranging from attempted murder to intimidation.

Helms was arrested after a domestic fight. He had punched the mother of his child several times in the head and threatened to kill her and the child.

Once in custody on the domestic violence charges, Helms was handcuffed with his hands behind his back. He was placed in the back seat of a sheriff's department SUV and belted into the seat directly behind McKnight.The SUV, like most of the sheriff's fleet, did not have a protective cage.

Helms attempted to escape. He in a technique police call "skinning the cat," was able to slip his hands underneath his buttocks and legs getting them in front of him. He then placed his cuffed hands around Deputy McKnight's throat, choking her with the chain linking the handcuffs.

McKnight fought back.

He threatened that he was going to" shoot her in the head and her brains were going to run down the windshield".

Helms was able to partially pulled McKnight's Glock 17 from its holster, fired a round, and ran from police.The bullet traveled through the holster, through the seat and lodged itself under the seat. No one was injured when the gun fired.

McKnight made a radio call, knowing she needed help.

Ernest Joseph Archer Jr., who was mowing a yard, heard the gunshot and witnessed the struggle on West Seventh Street ran to the SUV to try to pull Helms off the deputy. Helms then ran from the vehicle.

Helms was apprehended less than a block away after a detective found him hiding under a shed. His capture by police took minutes.

McKnight was treated and released from IU Health Bloomington Hospital. She suffered abrasions to her neck, bruises to her left eye, cuts and bruises to her forearms and bruises to her hips and torso.

Detective Shawn Karr, who found Helms under the shed, suffered minor injuries when he restrained Helms. Karr received medical treatment at the county's health care clinic for abrasions and a bruise to his forehead.

Helms spoke briefly during Tuesday's hearing saying he regretted the decision he made that day, but said he grabbed McKnight's gun to break the window and that he never tried to hurt the deputy. He told the judge McKnight was dishonest about the entire incident and because of that he found it's difficult to have sympathy for her.

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