The felon convicted in the shooting death of Chicago police Officer Nathaniel Taylor will spend the rest of his natural life in prison, a Cook County judge ruled Tuesday.
A jury in January found Lamar Cooper, 40, guilty of first-degree murder and possession of controlled substances for drugs found in his south side home.
"It's the only thing [Judge Nicholas Ford] could do. With the elimination of the death penalty, any time an offender kills a policeman acting in the line of duty, and has knowledge that he's a policeman or should have known that he was a policeman acting in the line of duty, the minimum is natural life, so the judge couldn't give more than this and luckily could not give less than this," said Assistant State's Attorney James McKay.
Taylor was trying to serve a search warrant on Cooper's house in 2008 when prosecutors said he was shot nine times, including in the head and chest, as he walked up to Cooper's car. Taylor's partner returned fire.
During his trial, Cooper's defense team told jurors their client didn't know Taylor was a police officer since he was in plain clothes at the time and shot him in self-defense during what he thought was a robbery.
Court records show Cooper previously served three years in prison for shooting at a police officer during a July 1990 foot chase.
"Justice has been done, and it's been a long time coming. And we're very happy about it," said Taylor's sister, Patricia Semeniuk.