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LAUSD shooting-hoax officer to serve 2 years in jail

Jeff Stenroos is shown in court in this undated file photo.

December 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A former Los Angeles Unified School District police officer who faked his own shooting and prompted a pointless 10-hour manhunt was sentenced Wednesday and will serve two years in jail.

Jeff Stenroos, 31, was technically sentenced to five years behind bars, but the judge suspended three years of that term. Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Richard Kirschner said as long as the former officer meets all the terms of his probation, he will not have to serve the additional three years in jail.

He was also ordered to perform 400 hours of community service.

Stenroos was convicted in September of crimes involving false evidence, insurance and workers' compensation fraud and falsely reporting an emergency.

In January, Stenroos radioed colleagues claiming he'd been shot by a burglary suspect but survived because of a protective vest. He was patrolling near El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills at the time.

The report sparked a lockdown of several San Fernando Valley schools while police searched 8 square miles of the San Fernando Valley. The incident cost taxpayers some $361,000.

A week following the incident, Stenroos admitted to officials that his story was made up. Prosecutors say Stenroos actually shot himself in his protective vest but his motives remain unclear.

Stenroos, who was with the force for seven years, was arrested in January and released on $20,000 bail. He was assigned to his Santa Clarita home with pay but relieved of police powers. He was dismissed Oct. 11, according to a district spokeswoman.

A restitution hearing was scheduled for Jan. 19. Deputy District Attorney Paul Nunez told the judge that the city is seeking $361,289 in restitution, and LAUSD is seeking $58,000 in medical costs.

According to his lawyer, Stenroos has a wealthy uncle who's ready to write that check.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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