Jagger Freeman sentenced to 30 years to life in friendly fire death of NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen
NEW YORK -- Thursday was sentencing day for the man convicted of felony murder in the friendly-fire death of an NYPD detective. He will spend the next 30 years to life behind bars.
CBS2's Andrea Grymes has more on the emotional statements given in the courtroom.
"Today is the day that my husband, Det. Brian Simonsen, can finally rest in peace," Leanne Simonsen said.
The heartbroken widow of Det. Simonsen said she relives the nightmare of his death every single day. She addressed the judge at the sentencing of the man convicted of felony murder.
"Jagger freeman not only killed my husband, but he killed a part of everyone who knew him and loved him," Leanne Simonsen said. "He was warm, generous, always smiling, always willing to help out, always willing to help out anyone in need."
Leanne Simonsen told the packed courtroom her husband was not even supposed to be working, when he and his partner responded to a robbery at a T-Mobile store in Richmond Hill, Queens in February of 2019.
Prosecutors argued Freeman was the mastermind behind that hold-up and others, arriving with co-defendant Christopher Ransom, the one who actually entered the store and pointed a fake gun at cops when they arrived.
Det. Simonsen was killed by friendly fire and Sgt. Matthew Gorman seriously injured.
Ransom took a plea deal, but Freeman refused.
"I want to say to the family of Det. Simonsen and also to Sgt. Gorman that I am truly sorry for what happened and the loss," Freeman said. "I'm not a killer. I'm not a murderer. I'm a good person."
However, Judge Kenneth Holder disagreed, saying under the law, he is responsible for the detective's death.
"Make no mistake, you and Ransom set in motion a series of events, the results of which, under the circumstances, while tragic, were certainly within the range of possible outcomes and for that, both you and Ransom are equally responsible," Holder said.
He sentenced Freeman to 30 years to life in prison for murder and other charges, marking the end of what Det. Simonsen's widow described as an excruciating trial.
Leanne Simonsen said she has been given a life sentence of immense sorrow and grief. Freeman's attorney vowed to appeal.
The judge noted if Freeman had taken the plea deal, he would've served nine or 10 years in prison.
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