PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – A Millvale Police officer found guilty of violating a suspect’s civil rights by repeatedly zapping him with a stun gun, even after he was handcuffed, was sentenced Friday morning.
Nicole Murphy was sentenced to three months of home incarceration, nine months of home detention and three years of probation.READ MORE: Chilling Video Shows Man Climbing Through Bedroom Window At Beaver County Home While 2 Kids Were Sleeping
During her three years of probation, Murphy has to perform 300 hours of community service. As part of the community service, she will conduct seminars with other police officers about the importance of not using excessive force.
“This is one of those cases we will never completely be happy with, but we’re happy with the results today,” said defense attorney Phil DiLucente.
The FBI began investigating after someone leaked a 52-second cellphone video of the incident to Pittsburgh-area media outlets in early 2013.
She was found guilty this past November and the verdict shocked both the defense attorney and the defendant.
“She was numb,” said defense attorney Robert Stewart. “She was numb. We had a very good feeling after Monday. Yesterday, we still were optimistic, but it was the kind of thing where I didn’t see, I just didn’t see this one coming.”
Stewart thought he had successfully attacked the credibility of Murphy’s then-partner Casey Bonincontro, who testified he saw no reason for her to use such force.
The defense called him a bump-on-a-log who did little that night but take a video with his cell phone.READ MORE: Veterans Searching For Jobs In Pennsylvania Face Challenges
Earlier in court, Murphy maintained she had done nothing wrong.
But the jury was apparently convinced that while Thomas Smith became compliant after the Taser was used, it was not justified.
The prosecution asked for 27 months in prison for violating Smith’s civil rights. Murphy was also arrested for DUI and was disciplined for infractions in the police department. But the judge used his discretion.
“He saw fit the discretion for her to go around to communities, go around to police stations and talk about excessive force,” said DiLucente. “He thought it was better she serve that in the community, than talk about it in jail.”
Several people, including Murphy’s mother told the judge she’s a loving, single parent to a 10-year-old daughter and that a prison sentence would be devastating.
“The only thing I have to say is God answered our prayers,” said her mother, Karen Murphy.Police: Online Argument Leads To Father's Day Shootout In Westmoreland County
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