- Associated Press - Friday, September 30, 2016

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on the sentencing of a New Mexico man who shot and killed a suburban Albuquerque police officer (all times local):

___

5:10 p.m.

The former girlfriend of a man who shot and killed a suburban Albuquerque police officer has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit an armed robbery and harboring a felon.

Tabitha Littles appeared at a sentencing hearing before a New Mexico judge Friday afternoon - just hours after Andrew Romero was sentenced to life in prison without parole for shooting and killing Rio Rancho Officer Gregg “Nigel” Benner.



Littles initially was charged in Benner’s death with Romero, but struck a deal with prosecutors that called for them to drop a murder count against her in exchange for her testimony against Romero.

Littles testified that the two were on their way to rob a fast-food restaurant when Benner pulled them over. Romero shot the officer and fled.

___

11:40 a.m.

A judge has sentenced a New Mexico man who shot and killed a suburban Albuquerque police officer to life in prison, plus 23 years, after hearing tearful testimony from the fallen officer’s widow.

Andrew Romero faced a Sandoval County judge Friday - a week after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Rio Rancho Officer Gregg “Nigel” Benner.

Authorities say Romero shot Benner in May 2015 after the officer pulled over a vehicle that his girlfriend at the time was driving. The vehicle had questionable license plates, and Romero was in the passenger seat.

Tabitha Littles, who was driving the vehicle, agreed to testify against Romero under a plea deal with prosecutors.

___

8:35 a.m.

A New Mexico man convicted in the shooting death of a suburban Albuquerque police officer is set to be sentenced.

Andrew Romero will be sentenced Friday afternoon for the 2015 death of Rio Rancho police Officer Gregg “Nigel” Benner. A jury last week convicted him of several counts including first-degree murder.

Families of police officers are organizing Friday so supporters can line the streets of Rio Rancho as Benner’s wife, Julie, heads to the courthouse for the sentencing hearing.

Prosecutors say Romero shot Benner during a chaotic traffic stop in May 2015.

The case was initially moved from Sandoval County south to Valencia County because of extensive media coverage. The sentencing will be in Sandoval County.

Romero faces up to life in prison without parole.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide