COP SHOOTER GETS MORE THAN THREE DECADES BEHIND BARS

BOSTON, Jan. 3, 2006 – A Suffolk Superior Court judge today convicted a Mattapan man who tried to kill four Boston police officers on New Year’s Day three years ago to more than three decades – and potentially more than four – in state prison.JERMAINE JABAR BERRY, 23, was sentenced to an aggregate of 31-43 years in prison. Judge Raymond J. Brassard this afternoon sentenced Berry to four consecutive state prison sentences for each count of assault with intent to kill for which he was convicted last month – once count for each officer whom Berry fired a .357 revolver at on the early morning of Jan. 1, 2003. Judge Brassard also added consecutive sentences for Berry’s convictions for pointing the gun at a friend of his mother’s inside his house – the incident that prompted the police response to the 76 Radcliffe St. home – and for illegal possession of a firearm. The series of consecutive sentences added up to the aggregate prison total, which was less than the 40-50 years recommended by the office of Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley but more than the 20 years requested by defense counsel. Additionally, Brassard ordered Berry to serve 15 years’ probation upon completion of his prison term, a condition that was recommended by prosecutor David Meier. Jurors on Dec. 22 convicted Berry of shooting Sgt. Charles Byrne and Patrolman Robert Welby, and of shooting at Patrolmen Robert Cappucci and Dennis Cogavin, after they responded to his home at approximately 5:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day 2003. Berry was convicted of 14 counts in all for the assaults on the officers and on two civilians whom he threatened with a gun because they were arguing in his house. Three of the officers – Byrne, Welby, and Cappucci – gave victim impact statements at today’s hearing, as did the wives of Byrne and Welby. Byrne and Welby told about the suffering and anxiety their families endured as a result of the shootings, and said they both had to leave the jobs they wanted to do all their lives because of the injuries they sustained. They asked Brassard to give Berry a lengthy sentence, as did Cappucci, who urged the judge to send a message with a lengthy sentence that might hopefully deter other young people who commit acts of violence with guns in Boston.