- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - A man who said he was insane at the time he was tried and convicted of killing a Chicago police officer in 2010 was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison.

A judge rejected the insanity defense of Bryant Brewer, 29, of Chicago during a bench trial for the shooting death of Officer Thor Soderberg.

“The fact that he acts in an aberrant manner is not proof that he is mentally ill,” Judge Timothy Joyce said in dismissing Assistant Public Defender William Wolf’s claims that Brewer suffers from a mental illness.

In addition to insanity, Brewer said he shot Soderberg in self-defense during a fight with the officer. He also testified he was proud of being a cop killer.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Brewer mocked Soderberg’s widow, Jennifer Loudon, as she wept while giving a victim impact statement from the witness stand. Brewer laughed as she talked about loss.

“I lost everything,” she told the judge.

Before he was sentenced, Brewer gave a 12-minute statement about love and hate and killing. He also used a profanity to insult the judge.

“If I’m a menace, there’s a reason to that,” Brewer said at one point in a barely audible voice. “It’s society.”

Prosecutors alleged Brewer surprised Soderberg, 43, as he changed out of his uniform and placed his duty belt down. Brewer grabbed Soderberg’s gun from the officer’s belt, shot him in the back, then stood over Soderberg and pumped more shots into him.

Soderberg was changing clothes at his private car in a parking lot adjacent to a police deployment center in preparation for a volleyball game he planned to play in.

Prosecutors said Brewer opened fire at as many as five officers who responded to the sound of shots fired, in addition to a handyman, before a sergeant shot him in the chest.

Joyce also sentenced Brewer to an additional 115 years in prison for attempted murder, robbery and discharging an officer of his weapon.

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