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Texas man gets 10 years for shooting man in eye with paintball in protest

Texas man gets 10 years for shooting man in eye with paintball in protest
Alan Swinney, 51, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release. File Photo courtesy of the Multnomah County Jail

Dec. 11 (UPI) -- An Oregon court has sentenced a self-proclaimed member of the Proud Boys to 10 years in prison for shooting a man in the eye with a paintball gun during a protest last year.

Alan Swinney, 51, of Texas, was also sentenced Friday to three years of post-prison supervision, according to the Multnomah County district attorney's office.

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A jury found Swinney guilty in October on 11 criminal charges, including second-degree assault, fourth-degree assault, second-degree attempted assault, fourth-degree attempted assault, two counts of second-degree unlawful use of mace, unlawful use of a weapon with a firearm, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon (paintball gun) and pointing a firearm at another.

Prosecutors said Swinney traveled to Portland to attend two days of protests in August 2020. They said he shot a man in the face with a paintball gun, sprayed people directly in the face with bear mace and aimed a loaded Ruger .357 magnum gun at people in a crowd.

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Senior Deputy District Attorney Nathan Vasquez described Swinney as a "White nationalist vigilante cowboy" who traveled to Portland to "engage in political violence."

The Portland protests in the summer of 2020 were held in reaction to police violence, spurred specifically by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn.

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The Oregonian reported that defense attorneys said Swinney acted in self-defense against other "agitators" who attended the protests. Lawyer Joseph Westover sought a lesser sentence due to Swinney's post-traumatic stress disorder from his military service during Operation Desert Storm and his lack of a serious criminal record.

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