Family of killed Philadelphia police officer meets end of the legal road

Not everyone is as fortunate in life to have a loving family and a career that they love. For one Philadelphia police officer, he was in love with his wife, children and job in law enforcement. It was the kind of person whom he tried to protect the public from who’s responsible for ending his life at the age of 46.

According to news sources, the officer was on duty in November 2008 when a reckless driver crashed into him. The officer didn’t survive the crash due to severe injury. That was nearly three years ago, and only now is the officer’s family about to see the driver be locked away.

Last Monday, the legal teams in this criminal case came to an agreement. The defendant, 44, pleaded guilty to the charges against him, including third-degree murder. In return, he was sentenced to a minimum of 19 years in prison, with a maximum sentence of 40 years.

The judge ruled that the sentencing be served consecutively with other time given for a separate probation violation. That is harsh compared to him serving concurrent sentences. Why the more severe sentence? The defendant has a history of breaking the law, and the judge didn’t think he deserved any break in this case.

This story is about criminal charges following a car accident. The report doesn’t indicate whether the family of the lost police officer filed a wrongful death lawsuit after the incident. Families in these sorts of tragic matters often will find it necessary and/or worthwhile to seek justice beyond a state’s criminal prosecution. If liability is proven, they can earn damages from the defendant that can help pay for expenses related to their loss, as well as damages related to the more personal, emotional aspects of their loss.


Philadelphia Inquirer: “Driver in crash that killed Philly cop gets 19 to 40 years,” Miriam Hill, Oct. 18, 2011

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