SAN DIEGO - A man who was shot by police inside a Carmel Mountain movie theater after he confronted his ex-girlfriend at gunpoint at her workplace was sentenced Monday to 22 years and four months in state prison.
Tom Billodeaux, 22, pleaded guilty in February to four charges, including assault with a firearm on a police officer and making criminal threats.
Defense attorney Beth Ulch said Billodeaux had a rough childhood, with his mother being out of the picture and his father dying when he was 11. Billodeaux was adopted by his cousin but did drugs and alcohol with friends, Ulch told Judge Laura Halgren.
Ulch said the defendant's girlfriend had broken up with him the night before the Jan. 12 incident, leaving when he passed out from drinking.
On Jan. 12 about 2:20 p.m., Billodeaux confronted the woman at gunpoint and threatened to kill her in the parking lot of a shopping center in the 11100 block of Carmel Mountain Road, near the restaurant where she worked, prosecutor Kurt Mechals said.
The woman's supervisor tried to wrest the gun away from the defendant and a security guard intervened, allowing her to get away, according to the prosecutor.
More than an hour later, officers tracked Billodeaux to the Reading Cinemas Carmel Mountain 12 complex and found him sitting alone in a theater where a screening of "Les Miserables" was being shown.
Billodeaux initially complied with verbal commands to determine if he was armed but then lowered his hands into his lap, raised a handgun and turned it toward an officer, according to police.
Officer Addam Ansari opened fire, striking the defendant in the chest and arm.
"Officer Ansari had no choice but to shoot him (the defendant)," Mechals told the judge.
A second officer was present but did not fire his weapon, police said. No one else was injured.
Billodeaux's mother spoke in court Monday, asking the judge for a light sentence. Patricia Sengchanthalangsy was there along with a dozen other family members and friends came to support Billodeaux.
"He's a good kid," she said in between sobs. "If he could come home sooner versus later, we can help."
Billodeaux cried as he listened to his mother on the stand.
However, Mechals described Billodeaux as violent, controlling and dangerous.
"The facts in this case are nothing short of terrifying," he said. "We are lucky no one was killed. In the victim's mind, it was a matter of time before he killed her. He told her he would kill her and cut her up with her father's saw at her home."
Mechals said Billodeaux's prison sentence was warranted, noting that he pointed his gun at three people that day.
"It's unacceptable," the prosecutor said of Billodeaux's actions. "(The victim) had the audacity to break up with him. This is entirely unacceptable."