A Conrath man convicted of the fatal shooting of a Rusk County Sheriff's deputy was sentenced today to the maximum allowed by state law with no chance of parole eligibility.
Doug Nitek will serve the rest of life in prison for killing Deputy Dan Glaze, Jr. on Oct. 29, 2016, after the officer stopped to investigate a suspicious vehicle on Broken Arrow Road.
"It's the best we could have hoped for," said Sarah Glaze, the widow of the slain officer.
Glaze family members hugged in the courtroom.
In sentencing, St. Croix Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham said he weighed the seriousness of the offense, the need to protect the public and the need to punish.
"I have serious doubts about what to fix and what can be fixed," Needham stated about Nitek's meth addiction and criminal history. "Life in prison without the opportunity of extended supervision is a fair and just decision in this case."
Needham, the top court judge in this area of the state, noted the slain officer's dash cam video played at the trial will be "seared" into his mind.
A total of six shots from Nitek's high caliber rifle pierced the deputy's squad.
Rusk County Sheriff Jeff Wallace said he is pleased with the sentence. He said the officer will never be forgotten, and now the department can begin moving forward.
"It has been a long two years," Wallace said.
Nitek family members gasped as the sentenced was announced.
According to a 19-page criminal complaint Glaze, Jr. was on routine patrol shortly before 11 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016 when he observed a suspicious vehicle in a farm field driveway along Broken Arrow Road. Glaze called the incident in to Rusk County dispatch using his police radio. A short time later, he asked for backup to come.
Glaze’s squad was equipped with a camera mounted to the front windshield, which was operating during the time he radioed to dispatch he was checking on the vehicle. The recording from the squad camera allegedly shows a red truck driving in front of the squad, making a power slide stop to face directly at the squad. Measurements taken later showed the location where this stop occurred to be approximately 168 yards from Glaze’s squad.
According to the complaint, as that stop occurs, it is noted on the squad video there is a puff of smoke coming from the hood area of the squad and a slight jolt is noted on the video. About three seconds later, a second jolt is noted and the radio microphone on Glaze’s squad is activated. At the time the second jolt is noted on the recording, what appear to be glass fragments are observed falling. About 2.5 seconds after the second jolt, while the radio microphone is still open, a gunshot is heard and the light bar on the top of the squad goes out. Glaze makes no further contact with Rusk County dispatch.
Last September, a jury of Rusk County residents found Nitek guilty of the major charge of first degree intentional homicide.
Prior to sentencing, lead defense attorney Charles Glynn said his client accepts and respects the verdict of the jury. Defense attorneys argued Nitek suffered from meth addiction that fueled his paranoia, violent behavior and decision-making process.
"How do you balance the need to punish for this office with the need to rehabilitate for hope in the future?" defense attorney Richard Jones said.
Nitek, 46, was originally charged with 31 counts. After numerous counts were dismissed during the trial, Nitek ended up facing only 17 counts. He was found guilty of six crimes and not guilty of 11 others.
In addition to the guilty verdict on the count of first degree intentional homicide, Nitek was also found guilty on counts of possession of methamphetamine, possession of THC, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of criminal damage to property while armed with a dangerous weapon.
He was found not guilty of two counts of attempted first degree intentional homicide while armed with a dangerous weapon and nine counts of first degree recklessly endangering safety while armed with a dangerous weapon.
Nitek was sentenced to the maximum allowed on all six convictions.
Glaze, 33, was a seven-year veteran in law enforcement with the last one and one-half years in the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department. He was married to wife, Sarah, and the Cameron couple had three children.
This article is free. See more articles and photos online with a subscription.