The California cop convicted of manslaughter for shooting and killing a DUI suspect in a rollover crash was sentenced to 180 days in jail Friday.
Former Paradise police officer Patrick Feaster, who was also sentenced to 36 months probation, was facing up to five years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter conviction.
Feaster, who was fired from the Paradise Police Department, is also apparently still facing charges from being arrested with his brother on drunk and disorderly charges in March.
Prosecutors were asking for a three-year sentence, but Judge James F. Reilley reasoned Feaster had obeyed the terms of his bond and probation, which is why he allowed Feaster to serve the majority of his sentence on probation.
The victim, Andrew Thomas, had left a bar without his headlights on at a high rate of speed, hitting a median rolling the SUV. The crash ejected Thomas’ wife and died at the scene. Thomas began to exit the vehicle, which was on its side, through the driver’s side window.
As Thomas tried climbing out of the car, Feaster fired his service weapon, striking Thomas in the neck, causing him to fall back into his vehicle where he was left paralyzed.
Feaster then came to the side of the vehicle telling Thomas to exit, but Thomas responded that he was unable to after being shot. Feaster radioed for help asking for medical assistance and stating Thomas was being difficult and refusing to exit the vehicle.
Feaster was then seen searching on the ground, possibly for shell casings prior to the arrival of assistance.
As other officers arrived, they also tried to coax Thomas out of the vehicle, but Thomas told them he had been shot by Feaster.
However, the cops did not believe him, telling him he had not been shot.
It was only after eleven minutes had passed that police realized he had been shot, prompting a supervising officer instructed officers to return to the bar to find the shooter, which was when Feaster admitted to the shooting.
Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey initially announced he would file no charges against the cop because the shooting was an “accident.”
But then Thomas died, sparking a huge national outcry, resulting in Ramsey filing charges against Feaster.
The light sentence should not surprise anyone after New York Police Office Peter Liang was sentenced to zero jailtime in the shooting of Akai Gurley. Gurley who was unarmed man who happened to enter the dark stairwell, which startled Liang, who then fired his weapon once striking Gurley in the chest. Gurley died from his injuries leaving behind a fiancee and two-year-old daughter.