Steven Scott Panell, who terrorized Weber and Davis counties during a crime spree in 1979, was sentenced Wednesday to the mandatory minimum of 15 years in federal prison after being convicted of possession of a firearms by a felon.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Greene, ruling that Panell is an "armed career criminal," recommended that Panell, 39, be sent to a maximum security prison and ordered that he serve five additional years on supervised release following the end of the prison term.Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Dance argued that with Panell's long list of violent crimes - including attempted first-degree murder, rape and aggravated burglary - he be sentenced to the possible maximum of life in prison. Dance said that 30 years is "absolutely necessary" to protect society from Panell, whom he called a "brilliant sociopath" like Ted Bundy.
Panell's lawyer, D. Gilbert Athay, said, "This is not a Ted Bundy. This is not a serial killer." He said Panell should get the minimum of 15 years.
In the crime spree, Panell and an accomplice held two families hostage at gunpoint, fired at officers, hitting one in the chest. His accomplice shot a pursuing police helicopter, forcing it to land.