ANCHORAGE, Alaska—Fifty-nine-year-old Fred Rayburn stood inside Anchorage Jail-Court Saturday and told a magistrate he wished he was dead.
Rayburn, who'd been arrested only 18 hours earlier, charged with leveling a rifle at a man's head, had allegedly told the victim, "I'm gonna blow your f---ing head off!"
According to Anchorage police, the victim arrived at Rayburn's house on Chugach Street at about 7 P.M. Friday evening. He had brought his wife, and the couple was looking at a motorcycle that Rayburn had advertised for sale on Craigslist. During the sales pitch, Rayburn allegedly groped the would-be purchaser's wife. When the husband responded angrily, Rayburn allegedly pulled the gun.
The couple retreated and then called police.
By 8:30, a SWAT team had shown-up outside the Rayburn home. Over loud speakers, an officer dramatically ordered Rayburn to surrender. "This is your last chance," the officer's voice, amplified by a loud speaker, said.
It looked like a scene from the movies.
When Rayburn failed to surrender, a SWAT-Team armored vehicle used a battering ram on his home. The ramming created enough holes in the structure for police riflemen to fire "O-C" gas, a type of pepper spray, inside.
After that, Rayburn, apparently overcome by the fumes, surrendered. It was around 10:30 p.m.
If convicted of the Class C Felony of aiming a gun at a man and threatening to kill him, Rayburn could face 5 years behind bars and a $50,000 fine.
Saturday he seemed to recognize that he was in perhaps the worst fix of his life.
"You know what I should've done?", Rayburn asked Magistrate Catherine Rogers. He was speaking rhetorically.
"I'm sorry?", Rogers said, sounding concerned that Rayburn was on the verge of giving up his right to remain silent.
"You know what I should've done last night?" He asked again. Then, before Rogers could intervene again, he went on, "I should've just come out with a gun and just got shot and just gotten this sh--------- over with."
Rayburn seemed to have intended the statement as merely a sober assessment of the seriousness of his situation. It looked as though he made it without any apparent animosity. He even smiled at the judge. He then predicted he would never be a free man again.
Rayburn's dour appraisal might be regarded as containing at least some measure of cold-eyed realism. It looks as though he now faces the risk of being put away for years.
In addition, police say they are preparing additional charges against him. On Saturday, the District Attorney said that officers, who executed a search warrant in his home early Saturday morning, also found 383 grams (more than 13 ounces) of marijuana. In addition, detectives say there were 22 marijuana plants.
In the coming days, authorities expect to file further charges against Rayburn alleging he ran a growing operation.
If that's the case, he could easily see the maximum sentence rise to well above five years.
Yet another factor working against Rayburn is the fact that he has 10 previous convictions in the state of Alaska. They include, DUI, driving without a license, driving with a suspended license, assault, and trespass.
Police say that the victim in Rayburn's alleged temper tantrum, thought he was about to die. Aaron Vazquez, who was standing only 10 to 15 feet from Rayburn at the time of the incident, told authorities it made him flash back to Iraq.
In the meantime, Rayburn remains in an Anchorage jail, on $5,000 bail.
His next court appearance is slated for Tuesday, August 7.