The man who shot and killed Indianapolis police Officer David Moore was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after an emotional hearing Thursday.
Thomas Hardy, 61, pleaded guilty last month to charges of murder, robbery with a deadly weapon and possession of a handgun by a serious violent felon.
The plea agreement called for a sentence for life without parole, plus 40 years, which was approved by a judge.
"Thomas Hardy will die in prison. He has the rest of his life to reflect upon his violent acts and the life he took from this family and our community," Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said in a statement.
The 9 a.m. hearing was packed with police officers, Indianapolis Director of Public Safety Frank Straub and members of Moore's family.
Hardy was expressionless as testimony began with Moore's sister, Carol Bongfeldt, who said she agreed to the life without parole sentence to spare the family the pain of years of appeals.
"You murdered my brother. I owe you nothing," she told Hardy.
Moore's mother, Jo Moore, took the stand and wept as she read a letter she had prepared.
"I needed to tell you face to face -- I'm really horrified because you executed my little boy," she told Hardy, who looked her directly in the eyes as she spoke. "I'm grateful you are willing to take the plea. I'll work on forgiveness."
Hardy's attorney, Monica Foster, told the court that this client tried to express remorse after arrest and that he prays regularly for forgiveness.
Hardy addressed the court, saying "I don't know why this happened."
"I know you have hate in your heart for me, but not as much as I have for myself," he said. "What happens to me doesn't make any difference now. All I can say is I'm sorry."
Curry, who had sought the death penalty in the case, said he only accepted the deal with the urging of Moore's parents.
Spencer and Jo Moore said they consider the plea deal a chance to show compassion in an effort to honor their son's legacy.
"Because of him accepting the guilt, it has really helped us," Jo Moore said outside court. "Nothing will bring David back, but for Thomas Hardy to accept what he did, it really helps."
"I do believe that Mr. Hardy was honest in what he said. He made a mistake. He made a poor judgment," Spencer Moore said. "Now he's going to have to live the rest of his life within four walls. That's a circumstance, I'm sure, won't be very pleasant for him."
Jo Moore also gave Hardy a prayer card with David Moore's picture on it, which she said he hopes he consults for the rest of his life.
"It has David's picture on it and has the police officer's prayer. Hopefully with my prayers and Mr. Hardy's prayers, we can come to peace," she said.
Foster said she believes justice was served.
"Any time that you have an officer who is shot, much less an officer who is as beloved as this officer, the appropriate punishment is a severe one, and this is a very, very severe punishment," she said.
Moore, a six-year veteran of the department, was shot twice in the face and once in the thigh during a traffic stop in the 3400 block of Temple Avenue on Jan. 23, 2011. He died days later.
Hardy has an extensive criminal background and had been released from the Marion County Jail a month before Moore's shooting.
Copyright Copyright 2012 by
All rights reserved.
This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.