A man charged with shooting at protestors after Richard Spencer’s speech in 2017 will face up to 15 years in prison. He was sentenced to prison Wednesday.
Tyler Eugene Tenbrink, 30, of Richmond, Texas, pleaded no contest, meaning he accepted the charges but is not admitting to them, to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm while being a felon.
James M. Colaw, a judge for the 8th District Circuit Court, sentenced Tenbrink to a maximum of 15 years for aggravated assault and 5 years for possession of a firearm. The charges will run concurrently. He will have more than 460 days off his sentence time due to the time he spent in jail.
“The truth to the choices you made on October 19, 2017, that truth really lies in your acceptance of responsibility today utilizing the plea agreement negotiation you've reached with the state,” Colaw told Tenbrink during the hearing.
Darry Lloyd, the spokesperson for the 8th Circuit State Attorney’s Office, said the sentencing was fair.
Canaan Goldman, a public defender for Tenbrink, declined to comment and referred The Alligator to William Miller, the chief assistant at the 8th Circuit Public Defender’s Office. Miller could not be reached for comment.
Tenbrink was arrested after he traveled from Texas with William Fears, 31, and Colton Gene Fears, 30, both of Pasadena, Texas, to attend white nationalist Richard Spencer’s speech at UF’s Phillips Center of Performing Arts in October 2017.
About an hour after the event ended, Tenbrink and the Fears brothers stopped at the corner of Southwest 34th Street and Southwest Archer Road and shouted “Heil Hitler” at protesters at a bus stop, according to an Alachua County Sheriff’s Office arrest report. One of the protestors hit the car’s rear window with a baton.
Tenbrink then got out of the car with a handgun and was encouraged by the Fears brothers to kill and shoot protesters, the report said. Tenbrink shot at the group but missed.
The three were first charged with first-degree murder.
Colton Fears pleaded guilty to three counts of accessory to attempted first-degree murder on Aug. 21 and was sentenced to a maximum 15-year sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.
William Fears’ charge of committing an act that could cause death was dropped on April 12.