Man sentenced for shooting at law enforcement and bystanders in Heise standoff

Channean L. Deveau appearing over Zoom from the Bonneville County Jail for sentencing on Wednesday.

IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls man who shot several times at people during a February standoff near Heise was sentenced Wednesday.

Channean L. Deveau, 27, was ordered by District Judge Bruce Pickett to spend between two and 15 years in prison. Citing the seriousness of the crime and mental health issues, Pickett said a retained jurisdiction or rider program that Deavau asked for is not appropriate.

“I do think you can become the man that you should be,” Pickett said. “You have a lot of support. I do think you need help.”

Deveau pleaded guilty to two charges of felony aggravated assault, one with use of a deadly weapon enhancement. As part of a plea agreement signed by Bonneville County Prosecutors, five additional felony counts of aggravated assault and another deadly weapon enhancement were dropped.

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“He didn’t want to hurt anybody,” Deveau’s Defense Attorney Jason Gustaves said at sentencing. “What he wanted was for law enforcement to put an end to him.”

On Feb. 9, Deveau drank alcohol then crashed his car into a tree along Snake River Road in an attempt to end his life, according to court documents. As at least five bystanders tried to help, Deveau pulled a gun and started shooting and a large contingent of law enforcement swarmed the area.

The bystanders were moved out of the way and police reports show Deveau made several indications he wanted police to shoot and kill him. After firing more rounds at law enforcement, shots were fired back. After deputies used a Taser, Deveau was taken into custody.

Gustaves pointed out that Deveau has a history of mental health issues and multiple suicide attempts during his teen years and through young adulthood. The 27-year-old father of three also has a problem with consuming too much alcohol, according to Gustaves.

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As part of his defense, Gustaves told the judge that a recent psychological evaluation done before sentencing did not indicate any current mental health issues and Deveau has not taken any medication or received ongoing counseling while in custody at the Bonneville County Jail.

The defense attorney asked Pickett to place Deveau on a rider program with an underlying two to seven-year prison sentence. He said the pre-sentence investigator recommended treatment while in prison, which could be provided in a rider program.

“The real aggravator in these cases are the facts,” Bonneville County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Adam Garvin said. “It is one thing to put yourself in danger; it is another to put others in danger. Especially in the manner, this defendant did.”

Garvin said a sentence less than prison depreciates the seriousness of Deveau’s crimes. Garvin told the judge he recognizes that Deveaur needs treatment, but it needs to be more than a rider program. He asked Pickett to sentence Deveau two to 15 years in prison, which is ultimately what Pickett sis.

“There is no grounds to excuse the defendant’s crime,” Garvin said. “Getting drunk and being depressed are not excuses for what he did.

Deveau said he is truly sorry for what happened and how his actions negatively impacted everyone involved, including the bystanders, and his own family and children.

“It was a very selfish decision of me to try and get (the officers) to kill me,” Deveau said. “To try to force their hand to do that … even if I got what I wanted, it would’ve changed their lives forever in a way nobody can really come back from.”

Deveau said his actions are not the man he is and what is printed in the news does not fully reflect him. He said before ending up in jail he took his children regularly to help at a homeless shelter and serve meals. He also said he is the person who does everything for others.

“I also understand my actions are going to have consequences,” Deveau said to Pickett. “I’m just asking that you don’t give up on me and just throw me in prison.”

Pickett did not agree with some of Deveau’s statements.

“It is the man that you are because that’s what happened,” Pickett said. “Now, I will say that’s not the man you could be.”

Deveau will also have to pay $1,000 in fines and potential restitution.