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Hempfield man gets 5 to 10 years in prison for firing at troopers in what lawyer called an 'anomaly'

| Saturday, May 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Hempfield man who fired at least 17 shots at state troopers had been under extreme pressure in his work and home life.

“He never intended to do any harm to anybody that day,” said Brian Aston, attorney for Daniel Lee Ryan.

Ryan, 45, was sentenced Friday in Westmoreland County court to serve five to 10 years in a state prison followed by 10 years of probation in connection with a standoff at his Antler Lane home overnight on Oct. 11-12.

The incident was an “anomaly” for Ryan, who has never been in trouble with the law, Aston said.

Ryan pleaded guilty before Judge Debra Pezze to two counts of aggravated assault and single counts of terroristic threats and reckless endangerment.

Charges of attempted murder were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Police said Ryan's wife, Dawn Ryan, fled their home after he threatened her around 10 p.m. Oct. 11. She called police from a neighbor's house and said her husband had been drinking and that there were guns in their home.

When troopers asked Ryan to come outside, he started firing shots toward them. Two shots were fired through a front door where a trooper told Ryan he would be standing, according to preliminary hearing testimony.

Ryan surrendered at around 1 a.m. on Oct. 12 after tear gas was lobbed into the home.

Troopers said during the preliminary hearing that they heard rounds hitting the trees around them during the standoff. Several roads in the area, including toll Route 66, were shut down while police negotiated with Ryan.

After the hearing Friday, Aston said his client was up for a promotion at work and was trying to save his marriage.

“It was a lot of stress. He was pretty on himself to obtain that (promotion),” Aston said. “It is not who he is; he has never been in trouble before.”

During his arraignment before Judge Joseph DeMarchis on Oct. 12, Ryan told the judge he had been a caseworker with the state Department of Public Welfare for six years and that he had been treated for alcohol-related issues in the past.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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