In Officer Peter Figoski murder, Lamont Pride gets maximum sentence, 45 years to life
The gunman who fatally shot NYPD Officer Peter Figoski was sentenced Thursday to 45 years to life in prison after emotional appeals from the 22-year veteran's mother, ex-wife and four daughters that the cop killer get the maximum.
"When our father died, a part of us died too," the officer's youngest daughter, Corinne, 15, told Supreme Court Justice Alan Marrus when it was her turn to read from a joint statement she and her three sisters crafted for the sentencing in a Brooklyn courtroom.
"Don't let this monster rob another family."
Marrus said he was imposing the longest term allowed by law for the 2011 murder of Figoski, a West Babylon resident, and he hoped that the killer, Lamont Pride, 28, would "never get out of prison."
Before handing down the sentence, Marrus listened as Corinne Figoski and her three sisters -- Christine, 21, Caitlyn, 19, and Caroline, 17 -- all of Long Island, each read their portion of the statement. He then spoke directly to them, minutes after each had broken down as they took their turn at the prosecution table.
"I speak as a father instead of a judge," Marrus told them. "Your father would have been very proud of you today."
Last month, Pride was convicted of murder in the second degree, burglary in the first degree and aggravated manslaughter in the second degree. He was acquitted by a jury on the most serious charge of aggravated murder of a police officer, which carries a penalty of life without parole.
In court Thursday, Pride expressed no remorse for the killing, but apologized to his own family and nodded toward his two brothers, who were sitting in the audience.
The entire proceeding took less than an hour. Prosecutor Kenneth Taub first asked the judge for the maximum sentence. Figoski's 79-year-old-mother, Mary Ann, then read a statement as her husband and the officer's father, Frank, also 79, stood behind her.
At one point, she told the judge her son would be missed. No one would miss Lamont Pride, she said. One of Pride's brothers then said in a loud voice: "He will be missed by me."
Court officers called for silence and police officers glared in the man's direction.
Paulette Figoski, the officer's former wife, then read her statement, praising his devotion to his daughters, who went next.
Christine Figoski recalled being rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center on the morning of Dec. 12, 2011, as her father lay dying. Hours earlier the officer was shot by Pride at close range after the gunman fled from the bungled robbery of a drug dealer.
"Our father was shot in the face and breathing at that moment . . . We still thought he was going to survive," she said. "The next several hours were the longest of our lives."
As Pride was led away after the sentencing, he again nodded at his brothers.
Scores of Figoski's fellow officers -- many of whom had watched on video from an overflow room nearby -- lined up outside the courtroom and applauded as his family trickled out.
The head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, had criticized the jury last month for not convicting Pride on the most serious charge, but he said outside court Thursday that he was satisfied with the sentence.
"Juries can be easily misled by professional criminals who will say anything to avoid being held responsible for their heinous crimes, as happened in this case," Lynch said.