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Man in Grand Forks motel standoff sentenced to two years in prison

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An Arvilla, N.D., man quietly wiped away tears Wednesday as he was sentenced to two years in prison for threatening to shoot police officers during an hours-long standoff in June at a Grand Forks motel.

Chance Christian Jacobson, 43, pleaded guilty in Grand Forks County District Court to terrorizing and reckless endangerment, both Class C felonies. The minimum sentence for his crimes is two years, said defense attorney Jessica Ahrendt as she cited North Dakota Century Code.

"My intent was never to hurt anyone else," Jacobson said. "My intent was clearly to commit suicide, no matter how that happened."

Jacobson faced five years in prison and $10,000 in fines for each count, but Judge John Thelen ordered five years in prison with three years suspended. Jacobson will get 70 days' credit for time served, but he is not eligible for parole.

He also was ordered to pay $500 in fines.

Jacobson was arrested June 15 after Grand Forks Police responded to a suicidal man with a gun at the Budget Inn Express hotel, where he was a resident.

From his room, Jacobson told officers he had a .45 caliber gun and said he was going to harm himself, according to court documents. After telling police he would "shoot law enforcement if they came to his door," he fired the gun five times—four shots into the ceiling and one through the outside door, according to police.

Guests had been evacuated from the motel and no one was injured during the incident.

Jacobson surrendered to police after about five hours.

Jacobson was so intoxicated during the incident that he doesn't recall his actions during the standoff, said Jason McCarthy, a Grand Forks assistant state's attorney prosecuting the case. Jacobson concurred, adding he had no memory of the June day.

Ahrendt asked Thelen to grant Jacobson a two-day furlough to take care of personal property, but the judge rejected the request after McCarthy noted Jacobson's lengthy criminal history. He was immediately taken into custody to begin his sentence.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers business and political stories. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family continues to raise registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as the Dickinson city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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