Jonathan Copeland sentenced for death of MPD Officer Michael Michalski
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The man who pleaded guilty to killing Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Michalski has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Jonathan Copeland Jr., 31, pleaded guilty to first-degree intentional homicide in February after originally pleading not guilty. As part of the plea deal, the other counts of attempted homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon were dismissed.
It was a very emotional sentencing hearing Thursday, as the courtroom heard from several police officers along with Michael Michalski's widow who spoke about the impact his death has had on them.
"You have murdered my soul mate. My forever friend. My son's father," Susan Michalski said.
Jonathan Copeland Jr. was wheeled into the courtroom, smiling to his family in the front row. At the end of the almost two-hour hearing, Copeland was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for shooting and killing Officer Michael Michalski in July while police were trying to arrest him on an outstanding warrant. According to the criminal complaint, Copeland hid inside the home where officers were serving the search warrant and shot Officer Michalski as he was coming up the stairs. Michalski was a 17-year veteran with the department.
During the hearing, the District Attorney shared text messages, a 911 call, and even body-camera footage to argue that Copeland intended to kill a police officer that day.
Copeland spoke to the courtroom but did not apologize to Michalski's family.
"I was afraid for my life when I was in that hallway. You got to be mindful for the Syvilles and the Dontre Hamiltons and the Trayvon Martins," Copeland said.