- The Washington Times - Friday, January 7, 2005

The teenager who shot a Montgomery County police officer, confining him to a wheelchair for life, was sentenced yesterday to the maximum penalty of life in prison plus 20 years.

Terrence Green, 19, showed little emotion as Circuit Judge S. Michael Pincus read the sentence. His victim, Officer Kyle Olinger, 39, watched from his wheelchair.

“There are things worse than death in this world. For me, it’s paralysis,” Officer Olinger said before the sentence was read. “I hope he finds his fate to be worse than death.”

Several relatives of Green spoke at the hearing in Rockville, including his brother, Mickey Green, a police officer with the D.C. Housing Authority.

“It’s had a bad impact on our family, because I’m in the field. … That could have been me,” Officer Green said.

The defendant had no prior criminal record. His mother, Mildred Petit, attributes the shooting to “an adrenaline-induced impulse.”

Judge Pincus also ordered mental health treatment for Green, who was convicted in September of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and use of a firearm in a crime of violence. Defense attorneys, who said Green suffers from depression and paranoia spurred in part by his father abandoning him as a toddler, sought a sentence of 15 to 20 years.

State’s Attorney Douglas F. Gansler called the psychiatric diagnosis “reckless” and “absurd.”

“Of course he’s depressed — he’s locked up,” Mr. Gansler told the judge, branding Green a “cold-blooded, brazen would-be cop killer.”

Officer Olinger was shot Aug. 13, 2003, in Silver Spring after he had stopped a suspicious car for the second time in a matter of minutes.

During the trial, Officer Olinger testified that he ordered the driver out for questioning and noticed that Green was moving around in the front seat. Officer Olinger said he went to that side of the car, asked Green for identification, then saw a gun on the floor and ordered everyone to put their hands up.

When Green failed to fully comply, Officer Olinger pulled his service weapon and a struggle began. When it ended, Officer Olinger had been shot in the neck, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

“Kyle Olinger would have been in his perfect right to shoot the defendant that night,” Mr. Gansler said. “Through mere fortuity, Kyle Olinger is here today, otherwise the defendant would have faced the death penalty.”

Green, instead, will be eligible for parole in 18 to 19 years.

“He’s going to have a rough time in prison, and when that time comes that he’s eligible for parole, I’ll be there,” Officer Olinger said.

Officer Olinger, who has a 14-year-old son, now works a desk job with the special investigations division.

“I still haven’t given up on being able to walk again some day,” he said. “I’ll never give up on that.”

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