Man gets 55 years to life for shooting Suffolk officer
A reputed gang member was sentenced Monday to 55 years to life in prison for the 2015 shooting of a Suffolk police officer.
As News 12 has reported, Sheldon Leftenant was pulled over by Officer Mark Collins in Huntington Station last March. After a pursuit, Collins used a Taser on Leftenant, but it didn't completely immobilize him, and he fired off four shots at the officer. Collins was struck twice and one of the bullets missed his carotid artery by half a centimeter.
Leftenant, now 25, was convicted on several charges back in January, including attempted murder.
Before Monday's sentencing, Leftenant made cryptic comments to the court, saying, "I lost the battle before I even fought it."
Asked about the meaning behind his remarks, Leftenant's wife claimed her husband didn't get a fair trial. "Sheldon Leftenant is innocent and we will prove that on appeal," Angelica Leftenant said. "When a cop does something to somebody, it gets buried underneath and gets hidden."
But prosecutors described the evidence against Leftenant as overwhelming. "He, to this day, refused to acknowledge that or take responsibility for that," said Assistant DA Robert Biancavilla.
Officer Collins was in Riverhead court Monday and said he believed Leftenant's sentence was fair. While he has "lingering side effects" from the shooting, Collins says he is glad to be back on the job.