Cody Rand Armstrong appeared before Seventh District Court Judge Douglas B. Thomas Monday afternoon for sentencing of two related charges.
Armstrong, 29, was charged with possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a second degree felony, along with possession of a firearm on school premises charge, a class A misdemeanor. Both charges stemmed from an incident that occurred at Castle Heights Elementary in January 2013.
Judge Thomas listened to sentencing recommendations by Armstrong’s attorney David Allred as well as Carbon County District Attorney Gene Strate. After weighing the matter, Judge Thomas sentenced Armstrong to 1-15 years in the state prison for the second degree felony and 0-1 year in prison for the misdemeanor charge.
The judge explained that Armstrong’s previous criminal history along with significant concerns regarding the case influenced his decision. “Whether a weapon was brandished or not at the school, it was inappropriate to carry a gun on school property,” Judge Thomas stated. “Regardless, your actions scared everyone and rightfully so.”
It was made clear during sentencing that Armstrong suffers from some form of mental illness and has been on medication since last year’s incident. Mental health issues may have played a factor in his actions at the school, but other, undisclosed criminal matters aided Judge Thomas in his decision.
Armstrong was charged after he appeared at Castle Heights Elementary in January 2013 to pick up his stepchildren from the school. When questioned regarding contact information, Armstrong refused, stating that such information would jeopardize his role as an undercover police officer. Puzzled, school officials then explained the situation to Price City Police Detective Ed Malmgren, who immediately launched an investigation into the matter.
Malmgren determined that Armstrong was not a law enforcement officer. The accused police impostor turned himself in and when questioned, admitted to possessing a firearm and impersonating an officer while at the elementary school. In April 2013, Armstrong was additionally charged with witness tampering related to the case. These charges were later dropped.
Police authorities and school officials at the time of the incident insisted that no children or school staff were ever in danger.
Armstrong was arrested immediately following Monday’s sentencing and will be transported to the Utah State Prison.