By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - One young man has been sentenced to life in prison for a 2006 robbery and murder in Frankford, while two others - who were juveniles at the time - were sentenced to 40 years to life during an emotional hearing that included a brief scuffle and testimony from beyond the grave of a slain Philadelphia police officer.
The victim, Michael Thierry, was shot in the back of the head as he tried to run from the robbers.
During sentencing of the suspects, the judge heard evidence from a boyhood friend, Officer Patrick McDonald, which was written in 2007 - the year before Officer McDonald was killed in the line of duty.
Officer McDonald said he and others had been scarred by the crime.
"They were friends from grade school on up, you know, they met at the playground, played ball together, and then stayed friends for 20 years," his mother, Patricia McDonald, read in court.
Thierry was a family friend.
"He was a nice kid, he always made me laugh, he always came in and told me what the kids were doing. He was always a nice kid to be around, but my son wrote it. I didn't even know he wrote it. Mrs. Thierry told me and I was very proud to read it and I was very proud of him," said Patricia.
The brother of one defendant was taken into custody during a brief disturbance in the courtroom. No one was seriously injured.
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