Local News

Sitka man sentenced to 12 yrs for Wachusetts Street shooting

A Sitka man will spend 12 years in prison for shooting another man in the arm during an attempted burglary in 2010.

On July 5, Superior Court judge David George sentenced 25-year-old Lance Smith to 16 years in prison — with 4 suspended. Smith was convicted on two counts of assault, for shooting Sitka resident Matthew Hornaman in the bicep. It is Smith’s 5th felony conviction.

The charges stem from an incident on the night of December 20, 2010. According to police records, Smith accompanied Christopher and Jeffrey Bettencourt, father and son, to Hornaman’s house on Wachusetts Street. Christopher Bettencourt told police that the three had gone to retrieve a gun that his son — Jeffrey Bettencourt — had traded to James Barber, 31, in exchange for heroin. The burglary apparently escalated into violence, when Smith and the Bettancourts found Matthew Hornaman at home, along with Barber. During the confrontation, Hornaman was shot in the arm. Barber told police he was struck with a wooden baseball bat. According to police reports, Smith and the Bettencourts then fled the scene, before running their vehicle over the curb in the 1100 block of Edgecumbe Drive. The Bettencourts told police that Barber fired shots at them as they tried to drive away.

Trials for the two Bettencourts on similar charges are scheduled for this August and November. Christopher and Jeffrey Bettencourt, age 44 and 23, are both charged with Assault in first degree and Burglary. They have been released on $10,000- and $25,000 bail respectively.

In addition to the 12-year prison sentence, the court ordered Smith to pay over $29,000 to the Violent Crimes Compensation Board.

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