Nicholas Sippel (left) sits in a Sac County courtroom with his attorney Charles Schulte as County Attorney Ben Smith asks a judge to put Sippel in prison for pointing a handgun at a sheriff’s deputy and police officer last year in an attempt to get them to shoot and kill him, what is commonly known as “suicide by cop.” Sippel has said he was mentally unstable and asked for probation for the incident, in which he was shot but recovered.  Daily Times Herald photo by Jared Strong
Nicholas Sippel (left) sits in a Sac County courtroom with his attorney Charles Schulte as County Attorney Ben Smith asks a judge to put Sippel in prison for pointing a handgun at a sheriff’s deputy and police officer last year in an attempt to get them to shoot and kill him, what is commonly known as “suicide by cop.” Sippel has said he was mentally unstable and asked for probation for the incident, in which he was shot but recovered.  Daily Times Herald photo by Jared Strong
Thursday, April 26, 2012

SAC CITY — The 38-year-old Schaller man who pointed a gun at a police officer and sheriff’s deputy in hopes that they’d shoot and kill him was sentenced to up to five years in prison on Tuesday.

Nicholas Sippel confronted a Sac City police officer and Sac County sheriff’s deputy in the driveway of his rural Schaller house at 1925 210th St. — about 10 miles northwest of Sac City — on Feb. 13 after the officers responded to a 911 call that Sippel made threats with a gun.

Officer Mark Jansma shot Sippel in the shoulder. Sippel was taken by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City where he was treated for more than a week.

He had faced four criminal charges in the incident, the most severe of which would have carried a 10-year prison sentence.

Sippel pleaded guilty in January to assault with a weapon on a peace officer.

“I antagonized the officers to shoot me to end my own life,” he admitted at the January court hearing.

The act is commonly referred to as “suicide by cop.”

Sippel underwent an unspecified amount of substance-abuse treatment between the incident and that hearing.

On Tuesday, he asked to be released on probation because he was mentally unstable at the time of the incident.

But District Judge Thomas Bice rejected the request.

“Here we have law enforcement, basically, put in a position of having to make instantaneous life-and-death decisions because of what you chose to do,” Bice said. “You put law enforcement in harm’s way. These are the people that are modestly paid to risk their lives to protect us, and I’ve got to show them respect because of what they do.”