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Hemet man gets 4 life terms in attempted murder of police officer

December 2, 2011 |  6:11 pm

A Hemet man convicted of attempted murder of a police officer was sentenced Friday to four consecutive life sentences.

Nicholas John Smit, 41, was given the maximum sentence by a Riverside County judge for trying to kill Hemet Police Det. Chuck Johnson in a series of attempts on his life over several months.

The sentence ensures Smit will spend the rest of his life in prison. Last month, he was convicted of 11 of the 12 felony charges against him, including attempted murder of a police officer, assembling a booby trap and drug charges.

Beginning in December 2009, Hemet police were targeted in a series of arson and booby-trapping attacks. The last occurred June 28, when a fire was set at a Hemet property and evidence building.

The fire was being investigated as arson and was believed to be connected to the previous attacks on the Hemet Police Department in the last six months, Wisehart said. The booby traps were set at the headquarters of the Hemet-San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force.

Other incidents included filling the building with flammable natural gas vapors, rigging a gun on a fence to fire at an officer, placing explosive devices under unmarked police cars and aiming an inert military training rocket toward a police building.

No one was injured in any of the attacks.

Smit's alleged co-conspirator, William Hansen, 36, of Homeland is set to be tried separately in January.


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-- KTLA Channel 5 News