A man serving time for a beating that partially paralyzed an off-duty Oklahoma City police officer made a tearful apology to his victim Friday before a judge refused to shorten his prison sentence.
“I wish this never happened,” Cadmio Antonio Lopez told officer Chad Peery in an Oklahoma County courtroom. “I ask your forgiveness, please.”
A tearful Lopez, his lip quivering, apologized to Peery and Peery's father, who was with his son the night he was assaulted outside a northwest Oklahoma City bar.
Lopez never hit Peery but kept the officer's father and others from intervening while one man put Peery in a headlock and another man punched him repeatedly in the head.
The beating left the officer, who uses a wheelchair, with a broken neck.
“To me you're just as guilty,” Peery, 35, told Lopez. “What you did that night altered my life forever. You will never understand what I've gone through the last two years and will struggle with for the rest of my life.”
Lopez's attorney asked Oklahoma County District Judge Kenneth C. Watson to give his client the same sentence as the co-defendants in the case, even though Lopez previously rejected a plea offer made by prosecutors.
The judge denied the request after Peery addressed Lopez.
“I will not (change) the sentence as long as Mr. Peery feels the way he does,” Watson said. “I'm not of the mind to change what I've already done.”