Queens Man Sentenced to 55 Years To Life In Prison For Attempted Murder of NYPD SGT

Release # 43-2016

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016 (718) 286-6315

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced today that a 28-year-old Jamaica, Queens, man convicted of attempting to murder a New York City police sergeant during an August 2012 shooting has been sentenced to fifty-five years to life in prison. District Attorney Brown said, “This was a senseless, violent act and once again illustrates how dangerous police work is. The defendant has shown that he has no regard for authority and is a menace to society. Today’s sentence – the maximum allowed by law – is more than justified.

The District Attorney identified the defendant as John F. Thomas, 28, whose last known address was on 109 Avenue in the Jamaica section of Queens. Thomas, who has been held without th bail since his arrest in September 2012, was convicted in June 2015 of first-degree attempted murder of a police officer, aggravated assault on a police officer, assault on a police officer, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree assault.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak, who presided at the jury trial, today sentenced Thomas to an indeterminate term of 55 years to life in prison. District Attorney Brown said that, according to trial testimony, New York City Police Sergeant Craig Bier, 44, was on patrol as part of an anti-gang unit when he approached Thomas at the intersection of 107 Avenue and Union Hall Street at approximately 10:30 p.m. on August 8, th 2012. The sergeant had his NYPD shield displayed and identified himself as a police officer. Thomas proceeded to run away and Sergeant Bier pursued. Thomas, his escape blocked by a fence, produced a firearm and shot Sergeant Bier twice – once in both legs. The investigation was conducted by Detective James Lusk, of the New York City Police Department’s Fugitive Task Force.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Neil P. Fenton, of the District Attorney’s Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau, prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Assistant District AttorneyMelissa Medilien, now with the District Attorney’s Narcotics Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys James W. Evangelou, Chief of District Attorney Brown’s Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau, and Patricia M. Theodorou, Chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Section within the Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau and under the overall supervision of Senior Executive Assistant District Attorney James C. Quinn and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney Laura M. Henigman.