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Man sentenced to life in prison for 2011 shooting death of Chicago police officer Clifton Lewis

Alexander Villa sentenced to life for shooting death of CPD officer Clifton Lewis
Alexander Villa sentenced to life for shooting death of CPD officer Clifton Lewis 02:19

CHICAGO (CBS)-- A man charged with killing a Chicago police officer has been sentenced to life in prison. 

Alexander Villa, 36, was found guilty of shooting and killing Officer Clifton Lewis back in 2011.

Villa was originally arrested with two other men, however, their charges were dropped after the Cook County State's Attorney's Office found there wasn't enough evidence to convict them.

Lawyers representing Villa said he was never at the crime scene and was coerced to confess.

He was off-duty, working a second job as a security guard at an Austin convenience store. Now, years later, the man convicted of killing him has been sentenced to life in prison.

Both families were in the courtroom Monday with CBS 2's Sabrina Franza.

"We've waited years to have some justice and today we can finally say we have justice."

Lashana Lewis stood hand in hand with her two sisters. They spoke of their late brother, Chicago police officer Clifton Lewis.

He was killed in 2011, and buried on the day he was supposed to be married to the fiancee he left behind.

"We don't get to hear his voice. see his smile. We've been suffering," Lewis said.

It has been 10 years without a resolution in their brother's case. Three men were arrested for his murder. Two had the charges against them dropped.

Alexander Villa, a 35-year-old father of two was convicted. Villa spoke directly to the Lewis family in court. He maintains his innocence.

"I didn't think nothing of it. I didn't feel anything. I know there are no mistakes made," Lewis said.

"In this country, you're guilty until proven innocent," said Villa's sister Melissa Villa. His family protested outside the Cook County Courthouse ahead of the sentencing.

"It's two families. The family of the victim, and our family. It's just a huge loss," said Melissa Villa.

They feel the presiding judge was biased against Villa.

On Friday, the judge refused a retrial despite Villa's attorney presenting new evidence, which they claim, places his phone somewhere other than the scene of the murder.

"I knew this was coming because of the circumstances of it, but I had hoped that it would be different," said Villa's sister Marisol Villa. 

Villa's family was permitted to spend 15 minutes with him before resuming his life-long sentence.

"Alex is very strong. He didn't do this," said Marisol Villa. 

The family of Alexander Villa is already motioning for an appeal. They said they would never give up until he is exonerated.

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