PoliceOne Staff Report
CLEVELAND (AP) - A jury recommendation for capital punishment was accepted by a judge Thursday, who ordered convicted cop-killer Quisi Bryan to die for killing Officer Wayne Leon.
A packed courtroom, including officers who brushed tears away heard Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Daniel Gaul impose the aggravated murder sentence.
Bryan, 30, shot Leon in the face during a traffic stop in June. The killer testified at his trial that he pulled out a handgun to stop Leon from using his two-way radio. Contact with the dispatcher would have revealed that Bryan was on parole for an earlier armed robbery conviction.
Bryan admitted firing the gun but said he did so without thinking and had not intended to kill Leon.
In a dramatic ending to he trial which ended with the guilty verdict last week, Judge Gaul ordered Bryan to stand directly in front of him, eye-to-eye as he imposed the death penalty, the Associated Press reported.
``I do want to apologize to the Wayne (Leon) family,'' Bryan told the AP. ``I do want to apologize to my family.''
Married, with three children, Leon reportedly led his district for arrests and was considered to be a rising star in the department, according to one press report. Leon came from a family of police officers. His father is a retired Cleveland police lieutenant and his brother is an officer with the Parma, Ohio Police Department.