A Hempstead man will go to prison for 50 years to life for murdering his estranged wife and trying to kill a police officer who answered a call for help during the deadly 2013 attack.
Nassau County Judge Alan Honorof Wednesday sentenced Leonard Reed, 47, to two prison terms of 25 years to life that he will have to serve one after another.
In February, a jury found Reed guilty of murdering Diane Parker-Reed, 42, and trying to murder Hempstead Police Officer Roman Pettway Jr.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Walsh told the judge that Reed's actions on the fatal day were perfectly in character for someone who had waged a domestic war against a spouse with an order of protection against him.
Walsh also recalled the words of a witness who heard Reed tell his wife "If I can't have you, nobody will," before killing her in an attack in which Reed shot her eight times and plunged a knife into her 10 times.
The murder happened in a Roosevelt Street home in Hempstead on Feb. 7, 2013, after Reed barged in with a gun and attacked the victim in the kitchen, the trial showed. After a tenant in the house called 911, Reed fired at Pettway when he came inside before a shootout ensued with police.
With police outside, Reed shot the victim again and stabbed her before surrendering, testimony showed.
Although the prosecutor Wednesday asked the judge to punish Reed with consecutive prison terms, defense attorney Toni Marie Angeli said her client was remorseful and asked for some leniency.
"He is sorry, and it was a terrible, terrible thing that happened," the Garden City lawyer told the judge.
Parker-Reed's daughter, N'Daya Lee, 20, declined to comment as she left court, where several loved ones gathered her into an embrace.
Court records show Lee has a federal wrongful death lawsuit pending against the Village of Hempstead, Nassau County and police officials. The suit says they failed to enforce an order of protection that her mother had against Reed before Parker-Reed's murder. County officials have declined to comment on the case.
Uniondale pastor Keith Burgess, a lifelong family friend of the victim, said Wednesday that Reed's sentence brought the family some relief after a "nerve-wracking" ordeal.
"We've been getting the word out about domestic violence, and we want to advocate for anyone who's in a toxic relationship that they either seek help or get out of the relationship," he said.
Burgess said Parker-Reed's murder has been an ongoing nightmare for her daughter.
"They were one knitted fabric, and it's just a shame that now she has to walk this Earth without her mother. Her mother was her everything," he said.
The victim's cousin, Ira Lewis, 52, of South Ozone Park, called Parker-Reed a lovable person who had tried to escape Reed's violence by staying with her and at a safe house.
"I really miss her, and what he did, it was awful," Lewis said, breaking into tears on the courthouse steps.
Acting Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement Wednesday that Reed was "determined to take not only the life of his wife, but anyone -- including police officers -- who got in his way."
Lewis said that if Reed had truly been remorseful, he wouldn't have put the victim's family through a trial.
"He gets what he deserves, and may God have mercy on his soul," Burgess said.