Jeff Lutz Sentenced

By: Lori Dougovito Email
By: Lori Dougovito Email

Former Eaton County Sheriff's Sergeant Jeff Lutz will spend 60 days in jail and five years on probation. He was facing up to four years in prison.

Lutz was found guilty of two felonies and two misdemeanors last month stemming from the March 2006 incident in which he claimed a black man shot him. Investigators say Lutz shot himself and blamed a fictitious black man.

After his sentencing Friday morning, Jeff Lutz told News Ten he just wants to move forward with his life. "My family has suffered, I have suffered and most importantly, the community has suffered. I'm just trying to restart my life. I've been thrown down to ground zero," he said.

Lutz was sentenced to 60 days in the Eaton County Jail; he is eligible for work release and five years probation. Lutz himself asked the judge to up his community service hours. He will serve 400 and he'll have to pay approximately $47,000 in restitution to Eaton County and other agencies.

Lutz says he shouldn't have been on the job, that he was and still is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He says he's been suffering from it since the night in 2004 he accidentally shot a pregnant waitress who was being held hostage outside of a Red Robin restaurant in Delta Township.

Now he's working on a training video, he says, to help other officers who may also suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. "There's a lot of issues out there the public isn't aware of and proper treatment and guidelines need to be established," Lutz says.

Before Lutz's sentencing, Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Sauter asked the judge to not go easy on him. After Sauter said, he was satisfied with the sentence, "It's not the first time a judge has seen a difference in the need for punishment."

Lutz has no plans to appeal.

Eaton County Sheriff Michael Raines released this statement Friday afternoon:

"If anything good has come from this, it has given the sheriff's office an opportunity to establish a dialogue and exchange of ideas with everyone in our community.

"The county has and continues to provide all employees with police psychological services."


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