The former New Milford man who misled police into a 12-hour "wild goose chase" a year ago in search of a fake shooter was sentenced to five years in prison.

Joshua Cable, 30, apologized to the court for his actions on Sept. 26, 2012, that led to the manhunt for a nonexistent, alleged shooter along Route 7 in New Milford.

Cable had shot himself.

His five years in prison will be followed by five years of special probation, Superior Court Judge James P. Ginocchio ruled Sept. 25 in Litchfield.

Cable had pleaded guilty July 9 to criminal possession of a firearm and possession of a sawed-off shotgun/silencer.

Formerly of New Milford, he was also facing charges of filing a false incident report and tampering with physical evidence, among other charges.

"I apologize for my actions," a dejected looking Cable told Ginocchio in court. "I am sorry."

The investigation into the September 2012 incident that shut down Kent Road for 12 hours and cost some $25,000 in police services led investigators to believe Cable had, in fact, shot himself.

A videotape of Cable positioning a shotgun under his armpit confirmed that fact, according to court documents.

"Mr. Cable had previous convictions, one in 2004 for a robbery, which also included a weapon," said Assistant State's Attorney Kim Gallo, "and he shot himself in September in order to gain sympathy from a woman he was involved with."

Gallo added she had agreed to the special probation because Cable "tragically had a very difficult childhood, eventually leaving home and going to a safe place where he would no longer be abused."

Public Defender Christopher Cosgrove added, "Substance abuse has been an issue for Mr. Cable... he was oblivious of his actions the night of Sept. 26."

Ginocchio told Cable his sentence was "what a first-time offender might receive," that possession of a weapon, having "pointed the blame at a member of a minority" and "leading police on a wild goose chase" could each have involved serious jail time.

The conditions of Cable's five years of special probation included a mental health evaluation and treatment as well as a substance abuse evaluation and treatment.; 860-355-7322.