Punishment decided in cop murder trial

June 7, 2010 9:18:22 PM PDT
A man and woman convicted of murdering a Houston police officer were given their punishments Monday. The decision was reached just hours after deliberation began. The defendants -- Xiomora Mendez Rosales and Andres Nava Maldonado -- were each sentenced to 60 years for felony murder in the 2009 shooting death of Officer Henry Canales during an undercover sting.

The pair was also sentenced for organized crime, with Mendez receiving 20 years and Nava 7. The sentences will be served concurrently. Mendez was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

Mendez and Nava were present the night Officer Canales was killed in the sting, though neither fired the fatal bullet. Canales was shot by a third man, who died in a shootout with police. The prosecution had said the pair were committing a felony by buying stolen TVs and that act eventually caused Officer Canales' death.

After the sentences were handed down, we heard for the first time from Officer Canales' family members.

"He was not only a great police officer. He was a great man, a great friend," said Officer Canales' brother, Jesus Canales. "He was my younger brother, but he was also my best friend. Henry was everybody's friend."

"I want them to know how excellent Henry (was) out there, he touched life, like my brother-in-law said," said Canales' widow, Amor Canales. "He touched everybody's life and he's an excellent police officer."

Family, friends and other officers felt justice was served. Both Mendez and Nava must serve 30 years before they're eligible for parole. The jury had the option to sentence the pair anywhere from 5 to 99 years behind bars.


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