POUGHKEEPSIE – Michael Becerril, 30, arrested after an officer-involved shooting incident in February in the Town of Fishkill, entered a guilty plea before Dutchess County Court Judge Edward McLoughlin on Wednesday.
Three Town of Fishkill police officers were the subject of a lengthy grand jury investigation that ultimately cleared them of any wrongdoing. The grand jury report and full account of the original incident can be found here.
Becerril was facing felony attempted aggravated assault of a police officer with a deadly weapon and menacing a police officer in addition to two felony weapons charges. Chief Assistant District Attorney Matt Weishaupt told Mid-Hudson News that in exchange for the guilty plea, Becerril will face no more than 3 1/2 years in prison.
Weishaupt said that if the case went to trial, evidence would have been presented that showed Becerril was not trying to injure the officers but instead, was trying to commit “suicide by cop.”
Noting that none of the Town of Fishkill police officers were injured during the struggle that lasted less than 60 seconds, Weishaupt said, “This agreement accomplishes two things: it forces the defendant to be held accountable for his actions but it also places him in a position to receive the mental health treatment that he needs.” The guilty plea will result in the defendant being classified as a violent felon.
Weishaupt noted that Becerril, who sustained a serious gunshot wound during the encounter, apologized while he was still hospitalized. “He offered what appeared to be a genuine apology while in the hospital,” Weishaupt said. Becerril repeatedly stressed to investigators that his actions had nothing to do with the responding officers, according to Weishaupt.
Fishkill Town Supervisor Ozzy Albra attended the court proceedings in Poughkeepsie and noted that Judge McLoughlin “Repeatedly advised Becerril that, if he felt that he was not guilty of the crime, he should not plead guilty.” The defendant listened to the judge and entered a guilty plea.
Becerril will be sentenced before Judge McLoughlin in January of 2023.