Hanford man gets 10-year jail sentence
VISALIA - A Hanford man was sentenced to 10 years in state prison Friday for his role in a high-speed chase and shooting last fall.
Brettin Michael Harbison, 23, pleaded no contest to charges of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, assault on a peace officer with a firearm, allowing a person to shoot from a vehicle, evading a peace officer and being an accessory after the fact in connection with the October 2003 incident.
Two of the charges qualify as "strikes" under California's three strike's law.
Harbison also admitted to a special allegation for having served a prior prison term.
The Tulare County District Attorney's Office announced the sentencing Tuesday.
Harbison was driving two people away from the Hanford area on Oct. 17, 2003 following a shooting a few nights earlier. When California Highway Patrol officer Mark Berlin tried to initiate a traffic stop, passenger Joe Lee reportedly shot at him repeatedly.
A 17-mile chase ensued, reaching speeds of 80 mph.
Harbison drove into Visalia and, while on Mooney Boulevard, Lee reportedly shot himself in the head.
Lee died as a result of the self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Harbison stopped the vehicle after Lee shot himself, and was arrested.
This story was published in The Porterville Recorder on September 8, 2004