(STMW) — A Dolton police officer who attacked two nightclub revellers with his steel nightstick was sentenced to six years behind bars Friday by a federal judge who told him he might have gotten away with it if the attack wasn’t caught on video.
Kevin Fletcher, 36, whacked Michael McPherson, 26, and Laurence Williams, 28, both in the head with his baton as they left Mr. Ricky’s nightclub in the south suburb back in the early hours of May 16, 2009, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
Though he claimed they’d provoked him, security camera footage showed he was the aggressor, and a jury took just an hour to convict him earlier this summer.
Sentencing Fletcher on Friday, Judge Elaine Bucklo said, “What’s disturbing is that if there hadn’t been video of this that you could have convinced a jury or me that what you did was justified.”
There was “no reason” for the attack, Bucklo said, adding that his victims were “trying to leave” the club when Fletcher attacked them and that Fletcher’s continued denials and “material lies” in attempting to cover up the attack only made the crime worse.
Fletcher, wearing an orange jail-issue jumpsuit, continued to deny the attack was unnecessary. He repeatedly interrupted the judge on Friday to deny he also tried to threaten witnesses in the case.
His attorney, Jed Stone, tried to prevent the outbursts, but urged Bucklo not to sentence Fletcher based only on “the worst night of his life,” noting that McPherson and Williams suffered only minor injuries.
Prosecutor Megan Church, though, suggested a sentence of up to nine years would have been appropriate. Fletcher acted out of anger and “ego” and was “lucky” he did not kill his victims when he struck them in the heads, she said.
“He should be held to a higher standard because he’s a police officer — what he did and that he lied about it is so damaging to the integrity of the criminal justice system,” she added.
“We don’t always have video to prove what people say when they accuse the police.”
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)