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Two Sentenced To Life In Prison For Cop's Murder As Cameras Allowed In Cook County Courtroom For First Time

(CBS) -- Two men convicted of killing a Chicago police officer were sentenced to life in prison in the first instance of cameras being allowed in a Cook County courtroom.

Paris McGee and Toyious Taylor were each sentenced to natural life in the shooting death of Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham IV. Cook County Judge Timothy Joyce allowed the news media to record the sentencing.

Thomas Wortham IV's father, mother and sister all told the court how much the Chicago Police officer and Iraq War veteran's murder affected not only them, but hundreds more.

"Because of the actions of Paris McGee and Toyious Taylor there are people all over the world whose lives will never be the same because part of them is missing," said Thomas Wortham III.

"Tommy can no longer speak for himself, we must do it for him," said Carolyn Wortham, Thomas' mother.

Their victim impact statements preceded the sentencing of Paris McGee and Toyious Taylor for Wortham's murder.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy sat in the first row of the packed courtroom. At one point, Taylor defended himself.

"Mr. Wortham, you know, you say you identified me or you seen me there, and I know I wasn't and you know I wasn't," Taylor said.

But Judge Timothy Joyce called the evidence irrefutable and the mandatory life sentences just.

In December, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed Cook County to begin using cameras and audio recording devices in courtrooms on an experimental basis.

Though criminal courtrooms were allowed to begin using cameras on Jan. 5, it's up to each individual judge to determine when to allow cameras and microphones to record proceedings.

Wortham, 30, was visiting his parents on May 19, 2010, when four men tried to rob him of his motorcycle. When he identified himself as a police officer, and drew his weapon, the robbers shot him in the abdomen.

"He didn't fight back that night to save a bike, he fought back because he was right and they were wrong and he was a man who stood for right," said Sandra Wortham, Thomas' sister.

Taylor and McGee allegedly were in the getaway car during the robbery while two brothers, Marcus and Brian Floyd, confronted Wortham.

Brian Floyd was killed in a shootout with Wortham's father, a retired police officer. Marcus Floyd survived the shootout, and was charged with murder, but Joyce has yet to decide if he is mentally fit to face trial. Defense attorneys have said Marcus Floyd suffers from amnesia due to his injuries from the shooting, and can't remember what happened that night.

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