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Archive for Friday, December 3, 2004

American gets life sentence for killing policeman

December 3, 2004

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— An American man was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison Thursday for murdering a wounded British policeman who was pleading for his life.

David Francis Bieber, 38, of Florida, was found guilty of fatally shooting Ian Broadhurst on Dec. 26, 2003, in Leeds in a bid to avoid arrest. The jurors at Newcastle Crown Court in northern England also convicted him of attempting to murder Broadhurst's two fellow officers.

Bieber, a bodybuilder and former bouncer who pleaded not guilty to all the charges, had been living in Britain for several years and worked as a doorman. He also is wanted in Lee County, Fla., in an unrelated murder plot.

The shooting happened after Broadhurst, 34, and the two other officers, Neil Roper and James Banks, discovered a parked car that was stolen and that Bieber had been driving.

Broadhurst was shot in the chest as he and Roper attempted to handcuff Bieber in the back of their patrol car. As Broadhurst lay on the ground, Bieber shot him in the head at close range, according to prosecutors.

During the trial, the jury heard an audiotape of the wounded Broadhurst screaming and pleading "Do not shoot me," before a gunshot is fired. The tape was recorded by equipment in the police car.

Roper was shot in the back and shoulder. Banks also was fired at but the bullet struck his radio.

Bieber, who used the name Nathan Coleman at the time, fled the scene but later was found in a hotel in Gateshead, near Newcastle.

Judge Alan Moses handed Bieber a life sentence and set a whole life tariff, meaning Bieber will never be released, a spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service said.

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