Former Chicago officer gets 10 years for fatal off-duty shooting

In this undated photo provided by the Cook County (Illinois) Sheriff's Office is former Chicago police Officer Lowell Houser. Houser, found guilty of second-degree murder in the off-duty shooting of an unarmed man in 2017 was sentenced Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, to 10 years in prison. (Cook County Sheriff via AP)

CHICAGO (AP) 02/10 — A former Chicago police officer convicted of murder for fatally shooting an unarmed man in 2017 was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison.

Lowell Houser, 60, sat slumped in a chair between his lawyers as Cook County Judge William Gamboney handed down the sentence. The charges carried a possible sentence of probation or a maximum term of 20 years. Houser will get credit for the nearly three years he spent on an ankle monitor awaiting trial. He is expected to be released from custody in about two years.

Houser was the first Chicago officer to be found guilty of murder since the 2018 conviction of Jason Van Dyke for the shooting death of black 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Besides second-degree murder, Van Dyke was convicted of 16 counts of aggravated battery — one for each bullet the white officer fired at the black teenager.

Speaking during the sentencing hearing, Houser apologized to the family of the victim, Jose Nieves.

“I sincerely send my condolences to the Nieves family,” he said. “Many times I went over in my mind if there was something I could have done to prevent this, but, unfortunately, I can only look at this in hindsight.”

Gamboney said in his 15-page decision that “it was not reasonable to believe that circumstances existed to justify the use of deadly force in this case.”

During trial in October, prosecutors said Houser shot the 38-year-old Nieves during an argument outside an apartment complex where the victim lived. But Houser, a 28-year police veteran who was on medical leave for cancer treatment at the time of the shooting, said Nieves made a threatening move and he then acted in self-defense.

“Mr. Houser had a multitude of alternatives during his interaction with Mr. Nieves,” Gamboney said. “We can sit here and debate what he could have done … but Mr. Houser chose probably the most extreme (option) in that list of circumstances, and as a result, we have a 37-year-old man … Jose Nieves, who is dead.”

https://apnews.com/fc3c4ae49f3192b68a370f73b1382868

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in: Convictions, Courts & Trials, Deaths, Firearms, Homicide, Self-Defense, Shootings, Use of Deadly Force, Victims of Crime

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 × two =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.