David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Robert Iacoviello Jr. was sentenced today to life in prison for the murder of off-duty Revere police Officer Daniel Talbot, who was shot to death after a chance encounter led to an exchange of words and gunfire between a group of alleged gang members and drunken police officers in 2007.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Patrick Brady imposed the mandatory sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years on Iacoviello after hearing tearful expressions of anger and sorrow from Talbot's fiancee, Constance Bethell, and his relatives.
Talbot's mother, Patty, looked directly at Iacoviello as she delivered her victim impact statement in court today.
"Because of your actions, I don't have my son any more,'' she said in a hard, clear voice. "Gangs and guns don't belong in America.''
Patty Talbot said she was with her son when he died at a Boston hospital. "I held his hand, kissed him, and told him I loved him,'' she said.
Bethell, who was with her fiancee at the high school when he was shot, said she is wracked by guilt for not having prevented Talbot from going to the high school.
Bethell said she cannot forget what she saw on the morning of Sept. 29, 2007, including the sight of Talbot "dying before my eyes and I could do nothing to save him.''
Iacoviello was convicted of second-degree murder. His co-defendant, James Heang, was convicted of being an accessory after the fact for helping to dismantle the handgun used to shoot Talbot. He was sentenced to serve up to six years in state prison.
Talbot and fellow Revere officers William Soto and Evan Franklin participated in firearms training and then spent the rest of the night and early morning drinking at restaurants before continuing to party on bleachers behind Revere High School.
Around 1 a.m., Derek Lodie, an alleged gang member, walked near the bleachers, leading Talbot to launch a taunting tirade that included language likely to incite gang members, witnesses testified. Talbot was a member of the department's gang unit.
Lodie, who admitted his role and is serving an 8- to 12-year sentence, summoned Iacoviello, who was convicted of shooting Talbot.
The two men were convicted Tuesday following two days of deliberations by a jury whose forewoman told the Globe the panel was shocked by the officers' behavior.
Iacoviello's defense attorney, Peter Krupp, read a somewhat defiant letter in court written by his client's parents, Robert and Michelle Iacoviello.
"We feel in our hearts that the jury got it wrong. We know that the son we raised could not have done such a horrific thing to another human being,'' they said in the letter. "No matter what, we will be by his side every step of the way.''
The convictions will be appealed, attorneys said.
Paul Talbot, the slain officer's brother, also gave a victim impact statement. He said the convictions have eased some of the anger and pain he has felt since his brother's slaying. And he ended by urging everyone in the courtroom to remember his brother.
"Never forget Officer Daniel Talbot, Badge Number 163, and in the words of his nephew, one of the good guys,'' he said.
Talbot's name has been added to the the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC.
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