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Timothy Gray sentenced for knife attack

Timothy Gray, 26, was sentenced Tuesday for the stabbing of another man in Tetonia last February.

Gray pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated battery and another of eluding police in Teton County District Court in Driggs Tuesday.

Judge Greg Moeller sentenced Gray to 15 years in prison, 8 years determinate and 7 years indeterminate on the aggravated battery charge. Gray was also sentenced to 5 years, 2 years fixed and 3 years indeterminate, on the eluding charge.

Moeller retained jurisdiction until Gray completes a 270 day rider for a mental health evaluation. After the evaluation, if the courts see that Gray was cooperative, Moeller will re-evaluate the current sentence term.

According to the Teton County Sheriff’s Office, Gray stabbed Matthew Niska several times in the head and back at a home in the Badger Creek area. Gray then fled in Niska’s truck, heading south towards Tetonia.

Eight Sheriff’s Office personnel, including Sheriff Tony Liford and Chief Deputy Kelly Wells, searched local roadways for Gray and the stolen truck. Two Idaho State Police troopers also helped with the search.

The truck was later found near Tetonia headed south on Highway 33 towards Driggs by an off-duty deputy. Several sheriff’s units converged on the truck and attempted a traffic stop north of Driggs. But when Gray failed to stop, they chased the truck to the Ace Hardware parking lot, where Gray was able to turn around and head north back toward Tetonia.

Gray then returned to where the attack happened and ran into the home. Wells and Sgt. Drew Winder chased Gray into the home, where he grabbed a knife from the kitchen and threatened to hurt himself, deputies said. Gray then barricaded himself in a bathroom. Deputies negotiated with Gray through the door until he agreed to come out. He was arrested without further incident.

Gray was taken to Teton Valley Hospital and treated for self-inflicted wounds that were not life-threatening. Niska was also taken to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

During the court sentencing hearing, both parties applauded how the Teton County Sheriff’s Office handled the incident, as deputies ended the situation without the use of excessive or deadly force.

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