YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A New Rochelle man who opened fire on Yonkers police officers, wounding one, was sentenced to 24 years to life in prison Friday.
Frank Valencia, 19, pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated murder of an officer and a weapons charge.
Det. Kayla Maher spoke in court during the sentencing.
“I’m the cop you shot in the face,” she said.
Web Extra: Watch The Complete Sentencing
Valencia stood stoic while she spoke of that traumatizing day, reported CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.
“You took a job I idolized and respected my whole life and you made me afraid of it,” Maher said.
“As you shot at us for 10 minutes, you did not care that we were police officers or that I am a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a friend. You are a monster,” said Maher’s partner Det. Dawn Lebzelter.
Surveillance video from that night shows other officers rushing to help, some taking cover as dozens of shots were fired. They carried Maher to safety.
Web Extra: CBS2’s Mary Calvi Sits Down With Officer Maher
Prosecutors wanted Valencia sentenced to life in prison for the shooting, which he pled guilty to last year. Prosecutors cited his criminal history of weapons possession, while the defense spoke of Valencia’s prior addiction issues, and calling the incident a tragedy.
In court, Valencia spoke out.
“I apologize for my actions,” he said. “I realize what I did was outrageous. Thank God nobody was seriously injured.”
Valencia got an earful from Judge Barry Warhit.
“Your bullet could have killed her – could have killed her – but you did not care, and that is crystal clear. And the way we know it’s crystal clear is you kept firing,” Warhit said. “If you never see the light of day, that would be fine with me.”
Valencia was taken away to serve 24 years to life in prison.
An order of protection has been issued for Maher so Valencia does not write letters or have any contact with her.
“Today justice has been served,” Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino said in a statement. “Convicted felon Frank Valencia will be off the streets, in prison, paying for the pain he inflicted on Police Office Kayla Maher and those who dodged bullets that same day. That attack was not on one person, it was on the entire Yonkers Police force. As of today, Valencia will serve the prison time he deserves.”
“I never thought I’d be shot in the face,” Maher told CBS2’s Mary Calvi during an exclusive interview. “I thought I was fighting for my life.”
“I was very lucky,” she said. “If it wasn’t for the officers that were on the scene with me, it probably would have been a lot different.”
Web Extra: Yonkers Police Officer Kayla Maher Leaves Hospital
Valencia was previously sentenced to five years probation after being arrested in May 2017 with a handgun, knives and 300 rounds of ammunition in his backpack. He took a plea deal just five days before the police-involved shootout.
Yonkers Police Benevolent Association President Keith Olson said Valencia never should have been on the street.
“He was caught with a defaced, loaded handgun with 300 rounds of ammunition. That’s not what youthful offender status is for,” he said at the time.
Maher’s mother, a retired NYPD sergeant, agreed.
“Hundreds of rounds of ammunition in this 17-year-old kid’s bag with a gun prior to this. What did you think he was going to do?” Susan Barry said. “I think it’s disgusting. I think that I could have lost my daughter.”