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October 11, 2007
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NYPD officer's husband pleads guilty in other officer's shooting

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — A police officer's husband has admitted shooting another officer --a crime the gunman's wife is accused of trying to cover up.

Jose Rivera, 31, pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder in exchange for a 16-year sentence. He could have faced up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted on a first-degree attempted murder charge.

The victim, Officer Andrew Suarez, said he was "satisfied" with the agreement.

Rivera's wife, Officer Jacqueline Melendez-Rivera, has been indicted on official misconduct and evidence-tampering charges in the Feb. 10 incident. Melendez-Rivera has said she was unknowingly caught up in the crime.

Officer Andrew Suarez, 25, was shot in the back while he and three other plainclothes officers were on an anti-crime watch in an unmarked car in Brooklyn. Police said Rivera pulled up to them, asked if they had "a beef" and fired.

Police said that soon after the shooting, they found Melendez-Rivera behind the wheel of a sport-utility vehicle involved in the crime. She told officers she was moving the SUV to a new parking space.

Her lawyer has said she was unaware of the shooting and cooperated with police once she learned of it.

Melendez-Rivera, 37, is free on $50,000 bond. She has been suspended from her job as a domestic violence officer.

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