Pot grower headed to prison after shootout that killed two

by: Kevin McCarty Updated:

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Pierce County, Wash. - A federal judge told Jeremy Capodanno he squandered his college education and a life of privilege when he chose to grow and sell marijuana. That operation was discovered December 6, 2012, when Capodanno shot and killed two armed men who came to steal his pot.

On Friday, Capodanno, 37, was sentenced to seven years in prison, not for the deaths of Frederick Adamkiewicz and Roy Piercy, both 30, but for illegally growing marijuana and using a firearm in relation to drug trafficking.

 Video from Capodanno’s home security system was released to media outlets following Capodanno’s sentencing. The video shows Capodanno firing several shots at targets off camera and hurriedly moving around his luxury home after detecting the intruders. Investigators said Adamkiewicz and Piercy watched Capodanno’s home for a lengthy period of time and burst into the garage masked and heavily armed, ready to take hostages.  Instead, the two got into a shootout with Capodanno who killed both men by shooting them through the garage window. “Two people armed, in disguises, ready for a gun battle showed up and that’s exactly what we had, a gun battle,”, Pierce County Sheriff’s Detective Ed Troyer told reporters at the time.

Pierce County prosecuting attorney Mark Lindquist refused to charge Capodonna with murder, saying he was defending himself and his 9-year-old son who was inside the home at the time. Federal prosecutors pursued the drug and weapons charges and Capodanno admitted his guilt in October, 2013, in a plea bargain that spared him a sentence of 10 years in prison. During his sentencing, Capodanno told U.S. District courtCourt Judge Ronald Leighton he was “very, very sorry” for killing Adamkiewicz and Piercy, adding he “did what he had to do” to protect himself and his son. Leighton told Capodanno his decision to grow and sell marijuana instead of using his college education to make a living led to the gun battle in his garage that cost two men their lives.

Capodanno remains free for the time being. He will voluntarily surrender at the federal prison in Sheridan, Ore., in a few weeks.