Columbia Street Cop Shooter Sentenced to 28 Years-Life

A 27-year old man was sentenced today to 28 years to life in prison for shooting a cop on the Lower East Side two years ago.  The incident happened on Columbia street, near the Baruch Houses, shortly after two officers approached Luis Martinez for suspected drug dealing.

The cop, Thomas Richards, was saved when the bullet struck his metal gun magazine.  In January, a Manhattan jury convicted Martinez of attempted murder and weapons possession charges.  During the trial and again today, defense attorney Matthew Myers said his client believed the officers were trying to rob them, and he didn’t think they were cops. According to the Daily News, he told the judge, Martinez has “not one single conviction and this court needs to respect the fact that my client had no record going into this case.”  The judge, however, was unmoved. State Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus said, “it began when Mr. Martinez took the gun that he purchased and put it on his person and left his home.”

In a statement, District Attorney Cy Vance said, “If not for the metal gun magazine and leather pouch that prevented the bullet from piercing Officer Thomas Richards’s abdomen, he might not be alive today. There is no clearer example of how New York’s Finest place their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. I thank the jury for their service and for seeing that justice was done in this case.”