Man sentenced in failed suicide-by-police in Henderson

A 55-year-old man who hoped to be killed by Henderson police the day after Christmas in 2011 was sentenced to 12 to 32 months in prison earlier this week.

Tony Allen McNeill was wounded in December 2011 when he pointed a gun at officers. He pleaded guilty in November to assault with a deadly weapon.

McNeill’s lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Harmony Letizia, said her client never intended to hurt anyone else.

At a sentencing hearing Tuesday, Letizia had hoped to have her client evaluated by Mental Health Court, but the program was full, and new evaluations wouldn’t be done until July at the earliest.

McNeill had been receiving mental health treatment regularly since the Dec. 26, 2011, shooting, Letizia said.

The defense lawyer asked Judge Valorie Vega to sentence McNeill to probation so he could continue mental health treatment outside of prison, where he probably would get little help.

Vega denied the request.

McNeill was originally charged with six felony counts, but one was dismissed after a preliminary hearing, and the other four charges were dropped as part of the plea deal, Letizia said.

Prosecutors could not be reached for comment.

McNeill was reported to be suicidal when he aimed a .22-caliber rifle at three police officers while standing in front of a condominium on Racetrack Road near Boulder Highway in Henderson.

McNeill didn’t fire, but police said he pointed the rifle at them before they fired at him.

McNeill suffered a chest wound and was hospitalized about three weeks.

Before the shooting, McNeill’s mother said he had been despondent after losing a job because of a disabling injury and that he had received mental health treatment for more than two decades.

She said her son broke off visits to his mental health care providers in the weeks before the confrontation.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@review journal.com or 702-380-1039.