Man Convicted of Murder in Shooting Death of Veteran Chicago Cop

Police said Brewer wrestled a gun away from the officer, an 11-year veteran of the force, and shot him in the head, back and face

A man accused of fatally shooting Chicago Police Officer Thor Soderberg in 2010 was found guilty of murder, attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery Tuesday.

In the day leading up to Bryant Brewer’s conviction, the slain officer's widow wept openly in court as a psychiatrist testified for prosecutors in an afternoon bench trial.

After hours of awaiting a verdict, the judge came back convicting Brewer of one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of armed robbery and one count of murder in the first degree.

The testimony of forensic psychiatrist Mathew Markos was crucial to the prosecution's assertion that Bryant Brewer was not insane when he took Officer Soderberg's gun and used it to kill him on July 7, 2010.

Brewer, who was 24 years old at the time of the incident, was charged with shooting 43-year-old veteran officer at least three times — in the head, back and face — outside of a police station in the Englewood neighborhood.

"He has no remorse," Markos told the judge Tuesday. "He would do it again. He is proud to be a cop killer."

Soderberg's widow wept openly during Tuesday's proceedings and left the courtroom on at least two occasions. Police Supt. Garry McCarthy also appeared at the trial to lend support for Soderberg's family.

Brewer's attorneys contend that their client was insane at the time of the killing and that he had a history of mental illness, including a diagnosis of schizophrenia. According to Markos, however, Brewer's behavior was not consistent with schizophrenia, but rather with anti-social behavior.

Earlier in the trial, Brewer said, "I'm proud," when Cook County Assistant State's attorney Brian Sexton asked if he was "proud of being a cop-killer." Sexton then called Brewer "a police officer's worst nightmare."

Defense attorneys previously said Brewer was attacked by Soderberg, possibly for climbing a fence in a police parking lot. In their account of the incident, Soderberg pistol-whipped Brewer with his gun before Brewer grabbed it and shot him.

Brewer was also accused of firing shots at a man sitting across the street and stealing his tool bag after he shot Soderberg, according to Assistant State's Attorney John Dillon. The incident led to a shootout with police, who shot Brewer in the chest.

After recovering in a hospital, Brewer was moved to a jail cell, where he awaited his trial.

In pre-trial hearings, an expert testified that Brewer had marijuana, PCP and opiates in his system at the time of the shooting.

Brewer, who had at least 22 previous arrests on his record, pleaded not guilty to 250 felony counts including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm, armed robbery and resisting and disarming an officer.

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