A 47-year-old man known as a “human crime wave” was sentenced to life without parole Wednesday for fatally shooting a high-ranking Chicago police officer.
A judge ordered the man, Shomari Legghette, to serve a “natural life sentence” in connection with the 2018 murder of Commander Paul R. Bauer, 53, the Cook County State Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
“Justice was served today,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted Wednesday. “But it may be little comfort to the wife and daughter who lost the centerpiece of their lives and mourn Paul Bauer’s absence every day.”
Justice was served today. But it may be little comfort to the wife and daughter who lost the centerpiece of their lives and mourn Paul Bauer's absence every day. https://t.co/prt8Fi63uj
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) October 28, 2020
In 2018, Bauer was walking to city hall when he heard a radio call that a man was running from officers. He chased Legghette and fell down a stairwell during a struggle before Bauer was shot multiple times.
Prosecutors said Legghette was a “human crime wave” on the day of the shooting, saying he wore illegal body armor, was armed with a gun and an ice pick-type weapon, and was also carrying drugs, the Associated Press reported.
During the trial, defense attorneys for Legghette said their client did not know Bauer was an officer and the shooting was done in self-defense.
Bauer’s wife, Erin Bauer, told Legghette during sentencing about how much pain he caused her family.
“To lose someone so violently adds another layer of pain that is indescribable,” she told Legghette.
Bauer’s teenage daughter also described a scenario where her dad stayed home on the day he was killed.
Legghette did not testify during the trial, but he did speak at his sentencing hearing, claiming that prosecutors and the police framed him. He added that an officer at the scene fired the fatal shots down the stairwell that cost Bauer’s life.
“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.