Steven Cowan probably wasn't the only American to be upset by Bristol Palin's appearance on "Dancing with the Stars" in November of last year. But he might have been the only one who expressed that anger with a shotgun.
Cowan, 68, was sentenced to three years' probation on Monday for blasting his television during the episode, threatening his wife with the weapon, and suggesting he might kill himself, anger all apparently derived from seeing Sarah Palin's daughter on the popular television show.
According to an AP report at the time, Cowan, himself a former member of the town of Vermont (Wisconsin) Board of Supervisors, felt Palin's continued appearance on the program was politically motivated and not based on talent. After shooting the television, he instructed his wife to go fetch him his pistols. She instead fled the home and called the police from an attorney's house. After an all-night standoff with SWAT officials, Cowan was brought into custody.
Dane County Circuit Judge Nicholas McNamara sentenced him to probation on misdemeanor weapons charges, but did not enter his felony conviction for failure to comply with police officers, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. Under a plea agreement, if Cowan completes probation without incident, he can ask that the felony be dismissed.
"Mr. Cowan, certainly you know that your case received a certain degree of attention and notoriety," McNamara said during sentencing, according to the State Journal. He expressed hope that Cowan would seek counseling and treatment.
A charge of second-degree reckless endangerment was also dismissed, the Chicago Tribune reports.