A New York judge blasted a career criminal, who had attempted to kill a highly decorated police officer, by delivering him a maximum sentence of 55 years to life.
“You will never step foot outside of a prison before you die,” Queens Judge Gregory Lasak told the convicted shooter John Thomas before a packed courtroom, the New York Post reported. “Who are you, to take a gun, and try to kill a New York City police officer?”
The officer in question, Sgt. Craig Bier, received over 65 medals in his 16 years with the New York Police Department and was present for the sentencing.
“It’s all about choices, and you made some very bad choices,” Lasak slammed the convicted felon, who had repeated his innocence when asked if he had anything else to say, according to the Post. “Instead of telling me you’re innocent,” the judge said with his voice rising, “you would have been better off asking for the minimum sentence. The proof against you is overwhelming!”
With multiple prior arrests, Thomas was convicted of attempted murder when he shot at Bier four times during a foot chase in 2012 and led police on a month-long manhunt before turning himself in. Bier, who was shot in the legs, addressed Thomas in the courtroom.
“Can I call you Johnny?” the sergeant asked. “I never think of you, except when I’m putting on a bathing suit and I see the scars on my legs, or when I’m shoveling snow,” he said, according to the Post.
“You could have gotten away, but you shot me, and that tells me two things. The first is that you’re an idiot– and you made a bad choice — and the second is that you’re a menace to my brothers and sisters in blue, and to everyone else in New York City.”
Bier, who left the courtroom to applause from fellow police officers, was “shocked” by the maximum sentence.
“I’ve spent most of my career in Brooklyn, and I’m elated, because nobody gets 55 to life in Brooklyn, not even if you kill the president and burn down an orphanage,” he told the Post. “He made a conscious choice to shoot and kill me, and there’s no place in society for someone like that.”