A Kansas man who shot a Carbondale Police officer two years ago was sentenced last week to serve 27 1/2 years in prison.
Alex B. Karcher, 24, of Salina, Kan., previously pleaded guilty to three felony counts related to the July 31, 2016, car chase and shooting that led to Carbondale Officer Trey Harris getting shot in the eye, Jackson County State's Attorney Mike Carr says. Harris survived.
As a result of Karcher's plea of guilty to the three charges -- conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver more than 5,000 grams of a substance containing cannabis, aggravated battery to a police officer and aggravated discharge of a firearm -- five other counts were dismissed.
At the plea hearing, Karcher admitted that he, along with others, was involved in a conspiracy from December 2014 to August 2016 to distribute large volumes of cannabis in Jackson and Williamson counties.
Karcher admitted that in July 2016, he and others came to Carbondale from Kansas to collect on a debt from a previous drug deal in which customers reportedly had taken 15 pounds of cannabis without paying the full price of $49,000. This culminated in shootings in Carbondale July 29, 2016, on East Oak Street and July 31, 2016, on North Robert A. Stalls Avenue.
Carr says that at about 11:30 p.m. July 31, two Carbondale Police officers, Harris and Corey Brinkley, heard the gunshots and observed a car speeding away from the area. Officers pursued the car on North Marion Street and Dillinger Road at speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour.
During the chase, several shots from a high-powered rifle were fired at the police car, one of which went through the windshield and struck Harris in the eye. The car was located the next morning north of Carterville, when a passerby reported to police that it was on fire.