NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The man convicted of killing a New York City police officer has been sentenced to at least 45 years to life in prison.
Justice Alan Marrus told Lamont Pride that he deserved the maximum sentence possible, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.
He sentenced him consecutively to 25 years plus 20 for burglary and manslaughter then 25 to life for the final murder charge.
Judge Marrus added that his intent was that the defendant will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
“I want to make it crystal clear that it is my intention that he serve this for the rest of his life and that he never get out of prison,” Marrus the courtroom packed with police officers and the family left behind by Peter Figoski.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement: “Forty-five years to life can’t restore Peter Figoski to his family, but hopefully it provides a measure of comfort that his killer spend the rest of his life in prison.”
Figoski is survived by daughters Christine, Caitlyn, Caroline and Corrine. More than $600,000 was raised for a scholarship fund to help pay for their education, CBS 2’s Don Dahler reported.
Before the sentence was handed down, each of Figoski’s four daughters spoke movingly about the devastating impact of their father’s murder on their family, Cornell reported.
“We will forever miss his laughs, hugs, jokes, sense of humor and all the annoying things that he used to do to us,” Caroline Figoski said.
“They will never be able to dance with their father at their weddings or thank him for all he has done throughout their lives to help them make good choice,” ex-wife Paulette Figoski said.
The family members implored the judge not to give “this monster the chance to destroy another family.”
“Peter is and always will be terribly missed by many people. Lamont Pride will be missed by no one,” Figoski’s mother, Marianne, told the court. “[Peter] took the Police Department exam, and we were all so proud of his graduation from the academy because he worked so hard for that day.”
“We never envisioned that one person in one night could change our lives completely,” said the officer’s youngest daughter, Corrine Figoski.
“We all got our normal ‘Good night, I love you’ text from daddy, and only a few hours after my sisters and I were faced with a tragedy that would impact the rest of our lives,” Christine Figoski said.
Caitlyn Figoski said Pride didn’t have to kill.
“Instead he chose to keep the gun in his hand, aim the gun at my dad’s face and pull the trigger,” she said.
Pride apologized to his family in a brief statement but expressed no remorse to the Figoski family, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
Lamont Pride was found guilty earlier this month of second degree murder in the death of Officer Peter Figoski during a botched robbery last December. He was also convicted of aggravated manslaughter and first degree burglary.
But Pride was found not guilty of the most serious charge, which would have carried an automatic life sentence.
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch said the judge corrected what the jury got wrong by failing to convict Pride of the top murder count.
“This was a judge that had the sense to say that he does not — this monster does not belong on the streets of the world, not just this city,” Lynch said following sentencing.
During the trial, prosecutors said Pride and four others plotted to rob a drug dealer who lived in a basement apartment in Brooklyn, but were interrupted by police.
As Pride tried to escape, he came face-to-face with Figoski, who was shot once in the head. Figoski died later at a hospital.
Prosecutors said Figoski, who was undercover, never even drew his own weapon. Pride was caught by Figoski’s partner.
The defense never contested Pride’s gun killed the responding officer, but argued it was an accident.
“He’s glad the jury understood that he did not intend to kill Officer Figoski. He did not and that’s the way the jury sees it. It’s a tragedy all the way around,” said Pride’s defense attorney, James Koenig.
His alleged getaway driver, Michael Velez, was found not guilty of first- and second-degree burglary.
Two other suspects in the case have pleaded not guilty. They have yet to stand trial. A fifth suspect, Ariel Tejada, testified against the others as part of a plea deal that gave him a lesser sentence.
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