2 Puerto Rico policemen get prison time for beating death of man accused of stealing squad car

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A judge in Puerto Rico has sentenced two former police officers to prison for the beating death of a suspect who was detained for allegedly stealing a patrol car.

The U.S. Justice Department said Friday in a statement that Aaron Vidal Maldonado received nearly 17 years and Jose Pacheco Cruz got almost five years. They were convicted last August.

According to prosecutors, Vidal pinned Jose Antonio Rivera Robles to the ground at a gas station in July 2003 while other officers kicked him. Seriously injured, Rivera was then taken to a police station and beaten further.

Prosecutors say Rivera was not resisting arrest and did not pose a threat.

Four other officers were previously sentenced in the case.