MEDFORD, Ore. — A Medford man who tried to ambush and kill police officers in June pleaded guilty on Thursday afternoon, earning a sentence of 15 years in state prison, according to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.
Shortly after 9 a.m. on June 5, five Medford Police officers were sent to an address in the 3000-block of Adams Circle after receiving a report that 49-year-old Vincent Padgett was threatening to kill his family members, in addition to any responding officers.
The officers were told that Padgett could be armed, but his family did not believe that he had access to firearms. Padgett had prior felony convictions — including one for Conspiracy to Commit Murder — and was supposed to be barred from possessing guns.
"When the officers arrived, they took a tactical approach in case Mr. Padgett was, nevertheless, armed," the DA's office said.
One of the MPD officers spotted Padgett lying down in the bushes of his backyard, wearing body armor and holding an assault rifle. The officer happened to be approaching Padgett from behind, but the latter man was in a "tactical position" over the other officers, the DA's office said.
The officer behind Padgett told him to drop the rifle. Padgett temporarily obliged, but then set off a trio of smoke grenades. While the plume of smoke obscured the officers' view, they reported hearing Padgett trying to cycle his rifle.
Despite the tense encounter, the officers were able to de-escalate the situation over several minutes until Padgett surrendered.
The DA's office said that officers found a loaded AR-15 rifle, 500 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, and night vision equipment after taking Padgett into custody.
"The investigation also learned that Mr. Padgett had been aware that the officers were approaching the residence. Another handgun with armor-piercing rounds was later found subsequent to the execution of a search warrant of Mr. Padgett's residence," the DA's office said.
On Thursday, Padgett pled guilty to five counts of Attempted Murder in the First Degree, plus two counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm. He was sentenced to 15 years in state prison, to be followed by five years of post-prison supervision.