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Oceanside police chief's wife gets 15 years for O.C. standoff

September 7, 2012 |  5:20 pm

The wife of the Oceanside police chief was sentenced to 15 years in state prison Friday for shooting at officers during a 2010 standoff outside her Orange County home.

Brinda Sue McCoy, 49, was convicted in June on five felony counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm on a peace officer and one felony count of discharging a firearm with gross negligence with sentencing enhancements.

The convictions carried a minimum 25-year prison sentence, but prosecutor Rebecca Olivieri agreed to modify the sentencing enhancements to reduce the jail time, in part due to McCoy’s mental health and the fact that she had no prior criminal convictions.

“She’s led a law-abiding life,” Olivieri said of McCoy, a registered nurse who is married to Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy, who once was the mayor of Cypress. 

In 2010, McCoy dialed 911 and prompted a 90-minute standoff during which she fired two shots at police. During the trial, McCoy testified that she was in a suicidal spiral at the time, fueled by prescription pills and alcohol.

At one point she put her husband's service revolver to her head. She testified that she had thought that if she summoned police they might shoot and kill her so she wouldn't have to do it herself.

After McCoy was convicted in June, authorities said she tried to kill herself. She was treated at Los Alamitos Medical Center, then ordered back into jail custody.

Olivieri said the reduced sentence imposed by Orange County Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseno does not lessen the seriousness of the crime or the toll it has taken on the police officers, but does show the complexity of McCoy’s mental health issues.

“At the end of the day, I really believe that justice was served on both sides,” Olivieri said.


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--Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: Brinda Sue McCoy in court. Credit: Los Angeles Times