(NECN: Lauren Collins – Manchester, N.H.) – Dan Doherty walked out of court to the applause and well wishes of his brothers in blue.
“I'm fulfilled. My life can now go on.”
For the Manchester police officer, it's over. The man who shot him will spend most, if not all, of his life in prison.
Judge Gillian Abramson ordered Myles Webster “sentenced to the New Hampshire state prison for a total of 60 years to life.”
The 23-year-old Webster was convicted last month of shooting Doherty several times the night of March 21 as he ran from police. At the time, Webster was already a felon in possession of a firearm. His lengthy criminal record factored into the judge's decision, but not as much as the disregard for life he showed that night. That was apparent in the smirk on his face Monday.
“He doesn't take his own life seriously, so he doesn't have a problem taking someone else's life,” said Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin.
Doherty gave an impromptu victim impact statement before the sentence was handed down and said his life was no more valuable than anyone else's. He later told reporters he is glad it was him and not anyone else who was at the end of Webster's gun.
“I was chosen to take up that role for a reason,” Doherty said. “What that reason may be, I'll never know -- but I'm here to stand to tell you that I'm glad it was me and not one of my brothers.”
He believes Officer Michael Briggs, shot and killed in the line of duty in 2006, was his guardian angel.
Doherty’s mother Mary shudders to think of the worst.
“When you give birth to a child, you don't think of something like this,” Mary Doherty said. “Just doesn't happen. But it did, and we survived, and it's going to be OK. It's going to be OK.”
“I'll be playing hockey again,” Doherty said. “I'll be out chasing the bad guys just like I was on March 21.”
Webster's attorneys will appeal.
Doherty hopes to return to active duty before the one-year anniversary of the shooting.