BAKER CITY — A 24-year-old Baker City man was sentenced to almost nine years in prison Thursday, July 15, after pleading guilty to first-degree robbery and to spraying bear spray in the face of a Baker City Police officer in May.
Travis James Sprague also faces multiple charges in Union County, where he fled after committing the crimes in Baker City. If convicted there he could face additional prison terms longer than the ones from Baker County, said Greg Baxter, Baker County district attorney.
Sprague is accused of shooting at a person in La Grande May 19, and breaking into a home in La Grande the following day and putting the barrel of a sawed-off shotgun to the homeowner’s forehead.
Sprague also faced several other charges in Baker County, including first-degree assault, second-degree assault, menacing and coercion, that could potentially have resulted in a longer prison term had he been convicted on all the charges.
But Baxter said he was not confident he would have had cooperation from all the victims in those charges had Sprague gone to trial, as some are his relatives or friends.
Baxter said he was satisfied with the sentence on the plea agreement, which includes seven-and-half years for the first-degree robbery conviction. That’s a Measure 11 offense in Oregon, meaning Sprague will serve the entire sentence without a chance for reduction.
Sprague admitted threatening a woman with a shotgun while taking her cellphone on May 15 in Baker City.
He was also accused of hitting the woman in the face with the butt of the shotgun, but the second-degree assault charge was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Sprague was sentenced to one year on the second charge to which he pleaded guilty — assaulting a public safety officer. Sprague admitted spraying Baker City Police officer Koby Essex in the face with bear spray May 14 while Essex was talking to Sprague about a report that Sprague had assaulted a woman.
Baxter said Sprague could potentially earn a slight reduction in the one-year sentence.
Sprague, who was on probation for one year after being convicted of menacing in Baker City on Jan. 8, 2021, will likely serve almost nine years in total on the Baker County charges, including time based on violating terms of his probation, Baxter said.
“I thought it was a fair outcome,” Baxter said, for what he described as Sprague’s “crime spree.”
The Baker City Police Department issued a public notice on May 18 alerting residents about Sprague, noting that he was a suspect in multiple crimes and had not been arrested.
The notice described Sprague, who has no fixed address, as “armed and dangerous.” He was arrested two days later in La Grande.