OROVILLE — The ex-Paradise Police officer found guilty of killing an unarmed DUI suspect was sentenced in Butte County Superior Court Friday morning.
“He was my hero. He was my protector,” said 21-year-old Elizabeth Woodward.
Woodward says her brother, Andrew Thomas didn’t have to die.
The incident from November 26, 2015 was captured on then Officer Patrick Feaster’s dash camera. Thomas drives away from a bar erratically, and crashes his SUV.
When he tries to crawl out, Feaster shoots him in the neck, killing him.
The passenger was Thomas’ wife, Darien Ehorn. She died at the scene. Feaster’s attorneys argued it was a tragic, accidental discharge.
The Butte County DA argued it was grossly negligent behavior. In October, a jury found Feaster guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
At Friday’s sentencing, members of both Thomas and Feaster families made their emotional pleas.
“He spent 11 minutes after shooting my grandson trying to cover up his criminal behavior,” Andrew Thomas’ grandmother, Fran Tzugaris said.
“He admitted in front of this court Andrew Thomas had no right dying that night. Our entire family believes that,” Feaster’s sister, Erin said.
After an hour of final testimonies, Judge James F. Reilley sentenced Patrick Feaster to 6 months jail time effective immediately, and 3 years probation,as opposed to a 4 year maximum.
“I personally wanted him to go to jail, so I did get what I wanted. My family did want a longer sentence for him,” Woodward said.
The defense and prosecution had polar opposite answers to the question: Did Feaster get a lighter sentence because he was a police officer?
“When I watched the video, the first thing I said was, ‘Oh my god, he killed my brother.’ So to me, that was murder. It wasn’t what he got in the end though,” Woodward said.
“I think he got a heavier sentence. In this current climate we’re in, it’s the judiciary responding to a lot of political noise,” Feaster’s defense attorney, Paul Goyette said.
Goyette said he is preparing to file an appeal and ask that Feaster be out on bond, pending the appeal.
Watch FOX40’s original report on the shooting below but we’d like to warn you that some of the footage may be disturbing to some viewers.