Jeffersonville, IN – An 81-year-old man convicted of the attempted murder of an Indiana State Police trooper will serve no jail time and was sentenced to 25 years of home incarceration on Thursday in Clark County.
Oscar Kays was convicted of shooting Indiana State Trooper Morgenn Evans in the head during a traffic stop on Dec. 12, 2017 near the intersection of West Park Place and Jefferson Street in Jeffersonville.
The incident took place just after 7 p.m. when Trooper Evans stopped a gray 1999 Chevrolet Silverado pickup for a traffic violation, FOX News reported.
Investigators said Trooper Evans administered a field sobriety test on Kays and was attempting to put the man in handcuffs to take him in for a certified chemical test when the then-79-year-old driver became combative, the News and Tribune reported.
Kays then pulled out a .22-caliber handgun and shot Trooper Evans in the head, police said.
After he was shot, Trooper Evans returned fire and then briefly tried to pursue Kays, who fled the scene in his pickup.
But Kays ultimately escaped.
Trooper Evans contacted dispatch at 7:08 p.m. and said that shots had been fired and he was hit, WAVE reported.
Additional police units flooded the area, and quickly found Kays at his residence on Huston Drive, the News and Tribune reported.
Trooper Evans was rushed to a local hospital.
Fortunately, the bullet fired by Kays had only grazed Trooper Evans’ head and he survived, police said.
Trooper Evans has been with the state police since October of 2016.
Kays greeted responding officers to his home with a shotgun, according to the News and Tribune.
He eventually put the gun down and allowed himself to be taken into custody and transported to the hospital for some superficial injuries he had acquired during the incident.
Kays was charged with a Level 1 felony for attempted murder, a Level 3 felony for aggravated battery, and a Level 6 felony for resisting arrest, the News and Tribune reported.
He was initially held in the Clark County jail in lieu of a $1 million cash-only bond.
But in July of 2018, his attorneys filed a combined motion that notified the court of Kays’ intention to use the insanity defense at trial and to ask for a competency hearing to determine his mental fitness to stand trial, the News and Tribune reported.
The attorneys had repeatedly called into question Kays’ physical health and mental health.
They also requested a bond reduction based on the octogenarian’s health in February, but Judge Drew Adams refused to rule on that motion until after the multiple evaluations that had been ordered could be completed, the News and Tribune reported.
After 18 months in the Clark County jail, Kays got his reprieve from Senior Judge Cile Blau on May 15.
Blau signed a sealed order for Kays’ release that allowed the would-be cop killer to enjoy the benefits of home incarceration, the News and Tribune reported.
Kays was assigned to home incarceration Level 1, which means he will have to wear an electronic ankle bracelet, get regular at-home visits from staff, and may only leave his home for doctor’s appointments, meetings with his attorneys, and court, a representative from Clark County pretrial services told the News and Tribune.
Senior Judge Steven Fleece convicted Kays of attempted murder and resisting arrest on Nov. 13, WAVE reported.
Kays was acquitted on the aggravated battery charge.
On Dec. 12, Fleece sentenced the octogenarian to 25 years of home incarceration, WAVE reported.
Law enforcement supporters were horrified that the attempted cop killer wouldn’t spend any more time behind bars.
But Kay’s attorney, Brian Butler, has claimed the octogenarian suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and will not survive more than a quarter of his sentence anyway, WAVE reported.
Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said that Kays got the break of a lifetime when the judge sentenced him to home incarceration.
But Kays remained committed to his self-defense argument, WAVE reported.
"I never got no break I don’t think,” Kays told reporters as he left the courtroom after his sentencing.
In addition to house arrest, the authorities will check his home periodically for firearms, which Kays is prohibited from having as a convicted felon, WAVE reported.