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03-19-08, 04:40 PM #1
Man gets 100 years for shooting NOPD officer
An Orleans Parish judge today sentenced a 25-year-old Algiers man to a century in prison for trying to murder New Orleans police officer Andres Gonzalez nine months after Hurricane Katrina
A jury found Eddie Harrison III guilty of attempting to murder Gonzalez, who was left a quadriplegic from the run-in.
Prosecutors Greg Thompson and Rhonda Goode-Douglas asked Criminal Court Judge Julian Parker to give Harrison the maximum penalty as a repeat offender in Louisiana: 50 to 100 years.
After delivering a searing lecture to Harrison, Parker handed down the sentence, calling it an even trade for the fate Harrison sentenced Gonzalez to that fateful day.
"He was willing to fight you hand-to-hand like a man," Parker told Harrison, who appeared in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs. "But you chose to try to kill him. You have sentenced him to a life sentence in a wheelchair. He can't give his parents grandchildren....He's going to be sentenced to life at home watching television with his mother and father, who will help him use the bathroom. All because of you. All because of you."
Parker said that all Gonzalez ever wanted to be was a cop, and that all Harrison wanted to be was a robber, landing in court at age 15 on charges of armed robbery. He was tried as an adult and pleaded guilty, receiving a minimal sentence, Parker noted.
For that crime, a Jefferson Parish judge on May 10, 1999, gave Harrison five years -- a second chance, Parker surmised. But instead of changing his ways, Harrison only learned "how to be a better criminal."
Gonzalez, dressed in his black NOPD uniform, delivered a brief yet succinct victim's impact statement to the court before the sentencing.
"The defendant has no remorse and he is not sorry for his actions," Gonzalez read, seated in his motorized wheelchair. His black leather NOPD jacket hung from the back of the chair. He listed the surgeries he has had - for facial reconstruction, his bladder, and his teeth. Most of the right side of his face is now made of titanium. He has been going to physical therapy three times a week since June 2006.
"How many other people have to get hurt or who are hurt that we don't know about?" Gonzalez asked. "This is the career I always wanted and now it's gone. I'll never walk again. I'll never work again. You should never walk free again."
First-degree murder carries either mandatory life in prison or death by lethal injection upon conviction, Gonzalez noted.
"Do not reward him with a lesser sentence for not being successful," Gonzalez said. "Since he didn't finish the job off. Why should he be free if he just didn't finish the job he started? That's all I have."
Attempted murder carries 10 to 50 years in prison for a first offender. But Harrison has a prior armed robbery conviction -- which doubled the possible punishment.
After a four-day trial that included 23 state witnesses and 123 exhibits, a jury found Harrison guilty of the attempted first-degree murder of a police officer.
The verdict was unanimous, although only ten of the 12 jurors needed to agree in order to render a legal verdict.
On the afternoon of May 22, 2006, Harrison surprised officer Andres Gonzalez during a foot chase in Algiers Point when he stuck a .40-caliber gun in the young officer's face, according to testimony. What began with a routine traffic stop when Gonzalez and his partner noticed a car with illegally tinted black windows ended with a police officer trying not to choke on his own blood as he lay on the pavement.
"In all likelihood, he saved someone else," Police Superintendent Warren Riley said after the verdict.
Harrison shot Gonzalez four times with the gun that he ditched before his arrest the same day, prosecutors said. The first bullet severed Gonzalez's spinal cord, instantly paralyzing him. Another went into his face and exited the back of his skull. A third shot struck the bullet-proof vest that covered the officer's abdomen.
The fourth was yet another attempt to end his life, Assistant District Attorney Rhonda Goode-Douglas said.
"Eddie Harrison wanted to make sure that Officer Gonzalez couldn't radio for help," Goode-Douglas said. "He shot into his police radio. That is specific intent to kill."
03-19-08, 06:10 PM #2
Bout time a judge got one right.
03-19-08, 08:05 PM #3
I hope he doesn't get a chance at parole for 75 of those years.\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
`` ` ` ` (3--(____)
"...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
03-19-08, 08:38 PM #4
03-19-08, 10:12 PM #5
Almost enough time.Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
03-19-08, 10:29 PM #6
this officer is truely amazing
i am greatful for a judge who actually is on our side for a changehttp://www.allpoetry.com/Grunts%20Girl
We dallied under
Vine maples and sapling alders
Searched for lady slippers
Found blackberry riots and
An old skid road
Brought ghost ferns and
Hollows filled with
While waves wrapped
Intricate lacings of weeds
'Round mule spinners
His cyanotic eyes
Were hard enough to make
The sun turn tail and
Tender enough to attract me
To his world of illusion
03-20-08, 01:46 AM #7
OMG i can't believe that officer lived. What a nightmare he lives with now. Nice to see justice once in a while.**********************
"I used to care
but now I take a pill for that"
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