A Tuttle man accused of repeatedly punching an off-duty Oklahoma City police officer in the head while another man held him in a headlock pleaded guilty Friday to assault and battery.
Jimmy Dan Smith, 29, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 10 years probation for his role in the Feb. 15, 2011, attack outside a northwest Oklahoma City bar that left officer Chad Peery paralyzed.
Smith avoided trial by accepting a plea agreement from prosecutors. With credit for time served in jail, he will spend about seven and a half years in prison before he is eligible for parole, prosecutors said.
Smith is the second of three co-defendants to plead guilty in the case. He apologized to the parents of the injured officer, who was not in court.
“Not a day goes by that I don't pray for your son to make a 100 percent recovery,” Smith said.
Outside the courtroom, Smith offered no comment to reporters. His attorney, Stephen H. Buzin, declined to comment.
Jan Peery told reporters the apology offered little comfort.
“It will not give our son back what he lost,” she said.
Chad Peery's father, Greg Peery, who witnessed the attack, said he had mixed feelings about the sentence.
“That's the system,” he said. “We just want to put this past us.”
Chad Peery, 34, suffered a broken neck when he was beaten the night of Feb. 15, 2011, after trying to escort customers from Dan O'Brien's Public House in northwest Oklahoma City at the request of the bartender.
Joshua B. Rinken, 29, of Norman, and Cadmio Antonio Lopez, 32, of Newcastle, were arrested along with Smith shortly after the beating.
Prosecutors allege Rinken put the officer in a headlock, injuring his neck, and Smith repeatedly punched him in the head. Lopez was accused of holding people back so they could not come to the aid of the officer.
Lopez pleaded guilty Jan. 27 to assault and battery by means likely to cause death and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He has filed a motion to withdraw his plea, and is due back in court Feb. 24, prosecutors said.
Lopez, prosecutors said, received a stiffer sentence than Smith because he entered a blind plea, which leaves sentencing up the judge's discretion.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater could not be reached for comment.
Rinken, called “most culpable” by Prater, was scheduled to face trial Feb. 13 His trial has been postponed while attorneys decide how they want to proceed with his case.
“There were some issues that the defense may want to take up to the Court of Criminal Appeals,” a prosecutor said, declining to go into detail.
A status conference for Rinken is scheduled for Feb. 21.