Family Friend Reacts to Sentencing of Man who Charged at Police Officers with a Knife

By: Elizabeth Lamb Email
By: Elizabeth Lamb Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Jason Naulty will most likely be in his 60s when he gets out of prison. Naulty pleaded guilty to a charge of capital attempted murder of a police officer. Police said they shot him three times after he ignored their warnings to put his knife down.

Deliberations in the courtroom took about an hour and a half. Some of Naulty's friends and family cried when the judge sentenced Naulty to 25 years.

A family friend said she was devastated that a mentally-disabled person will spend that much time behind bars. Dorris Propst, Naulty's family friend, sat in court on Tuesday and watched a judge sentence her granddaughter's father to 25 years in prison.

“I'm sorry, I just think it was unfair,” said Propst, “I really do. I just think it was really, really unfair.”

The ruling affected the officer's family and Naulty's family.

“I grew up with no father myself, so it just broke my heart to know that she's not going to grow up without a father, also.”

Naulty's mental history and criminal past dates back nearly two decades. Commonwealth Attorney Marsha Garst said this case could have been a lot worse.

“Short of an officer's funeral, this is as grave as it gets. We're very pleased that the judge took the offense seriously. We hope this will give the officer and his family some closure,” said Garst.

Propst says the sentence will change his life and the life of his family.

“It's just all a big shock now to the whole family,” said Propst. “His daughter is just very, very upset right now, and, you know, I don't know what to do.”

A WHSV reporter did speak to the defense attorney, who represented Naulty. He said he was disappointed with the sentence and that he had hoped Naulty could have spent less time in prison.

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