EL PASO, Texas – A driver must serve 40 years in prison for the 2016 death of a West Texas police officer who was struck while on his stopped motorcycle.
John Paul Perry was charged with capital murder but on Tuesday pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in a plea deal in El Paso. Prosecutors were not seeking the death penalty against the 45-year-old Perry, who was sentenced by a judge.
Investigators say Perry last March drove a car that hit El Paso police officer David Ortiz on his cycle at an intersection. Both vehicles burst into flames. Ortiz died four days later.
Authorities arrested Perry about 400 miles away, in Merkel.
Perry's lawyer says the crash was accidental and his client had a prescription drug and heroin in his system.