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Man shot by police sentenced to home monitoring for 2015 chase

GRAND FORKS -- A Grand Forks man shot six times after leading police on a high-speed chase in late February 2015 was sentenced Monday to just under two months on electronic home monitoring in Grand Forks District Court.

GRAND FORKS -- A Grand Forks man shot six times after leading police on a high-speed chase in late February 2015 was sentenced Monday to just under two months on electronic home monitoring in Grand Forks District Court.

David James Elliott, 42, was sentenced to one year in jail with 10 months suspended and credit for 10 days served for each of his three counts, to be served concurrently, in addition to one year of supervised probation. He also must pay $3,908 in restitution.

Elliott was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment, Class C felonies, and one count of fleeing police officers, a Class A misdemeanor, which he pleaded guilty to Nov. 2.

The rest of Elliott’s sentence will be served on electronic home monitoring.

“He’s in no physical condition to spend one day in jail,” defense attorney Darla Jane Schuman said. “He’s not equipped to go to jail, and the jail is not equipped to have him.”

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Elliott wore a brace around his torso and used a cane in court Monday. Shrapnel caused damage to Elliott’s hearing and to his spine, the defense said. Elliott underwent multiple surgeries, including facial reconstructive surgery. He has no feeling from the waist down, Elliott told the court Monday.

“I’m in pain everyday,” Elliott said. “I feel bad for all that’s happened and everyone that’s been involved. It’s been very, very hard.”

District Judge Donald Hager ordered Elliott to a lesser sentence than a plea deal agreed upon in September because of Elliott’s medical condition and criminal history.

“Imprisonment certainly would be a hardship for himself, certainly from a medical perspective,” Hager said. “His health has obviously taken a downturn as a result of this case.”

The plea deal had Elliott serving four months in jail.

Elliott has no prior criminal record in North Dakota and Minnesota, other than several traffic violations -- four speeding violations, two seat belt violations and one vehicle registration violation.

“He never wanted to hurt anyone,” Schuman said. “I honestly believe society has been repaid for his mistake.”

Elliott said in court he doesn’t remember the shooting. He was shot six times, at least once in the face, by University of North Dakota police officer Jerad Braaten after leading police on two pursuits in and near Grand Forks, topping speeds of 80 mph.

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The second pursuit ended outside Altru Hospital, where police say Elliott -- from a stop -- suddenly stepped on the gas and rammed his Chevrolet Silverado head-on into a county sheriff’s deputy’s Ford Expedition. The deputy whose vehicle was hit was uninjured.

During the pursuits, Elliott made multiple remarks suggesting he wanted to harm himself, according to a county prosecutor and police.

The pursuits involved Grand Forks Police, North Dakota State Highway Patrol, Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department and one UND officer.

County prosecutors decided not to press charges against Braaten, who has been an officer with the UND police department since 2013, saying he acted within the limits of the law when he shot Elliott.

The investigation into the case was handed over to the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation to act as an independent investigator.

“I’m very sorry for what happened,” Elliott said in court Monday.

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