Man gets life term for murder of Chicago police commander

CHICAGO (AP) — A man convicted of first-degree murder in the 2018 shooting death of a Chicago police commander was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison.

Shomari Legghette, 47, received a mandatory life term for the fatal shooting of 53-year-old Cmdr. Paul Bauer because he was convicted of killing a police officer in the line of duty.

Bauer was walking to City Hall on Feb. 13, 2018, when he heard a radio call that a man was running from officers. He gave chase and caught Legghette, who, with Bauer, fell down a stairwell during a struggle before he shot Bauer several times.

During his trial, Legghette’s attorneys claimed their client didn’t know that Bauer was a police officer and that he shot him in self-defense.

At the sentencing hearing, Bauer’s wife, Erin Bauer, told Legghette about the pain he caused.

“To lose someone so violently adds another layer of pain that is indescribable,” she told Legghette.

Bauer’s teenage daughter, Grace, also gave a statement in which she described an alternate world where her father stayed home on the day he was shot.

Legghette, who did not testify during his trial, also gave a statement before sentencing, claiming he was being framed by police and prosecutors. He claimed an officer responding to the scene fired shots down the stairwell that killed Bauer. No evidence was presented at the trial asserting that’s what happened.

“Paul Bauer’s death actually was reckless and egregious when he chose to break protocol and use excessive force,” Legghette told the court.

Plainclothes officers had observed Legghette urinating on a support column, and when an officer called out, Legghette took off running, according to trial testimony.

Prosecutors described Legghette as a “human crime wave” on the day of the shooting, saying he was wearing illegal body armor, and carrying a gun with an extended clip and an ice pick-type weapon. He also had drugs on him, they said.

“He knew he was going back to prison and that it was going to be a long stay based on his record,” Assistant State’s Attorney John Maher said.

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