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updated: 8/21/2014 5:15 PM

5-year term for man who threw chair at officer

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Associated Press

A man has been sentenced to five years in prison for throwing a courtroom chair at a Joliet police officer just as jurors in a civil rights trial announced a verdict in the officer's favor.

A federal judge in Chicago sentenced 34-year-old Lavelle Watts for assault with a dangerous weapon -- in this case, the chair. Thursday's sentencing occurred in the same building as last year's furniture-throwing incident.

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Watts had accused Joliet police officer Joshua Sawyer of violating his civil rights during a 2009 arrest.

As the jury's decision was announced at the 2013 trial, an enraged Watts launched the chair at Sawyer, cutting the officer's arm. Watts also screamed, "Now we're even!"

Prosecutors wanted a 10-year sentence; the defense asked for two. Watts' attorney, Molly Armour, says she's "disappointed" in the five-year term but "relieved" it wasn't 10.

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