NEW YORK, May 18 (AP) – A diehard and defiant Islamic extremist was sentenced Wednesday to 10 life sentences and 260 years in prison for killing eight people in a truck on a Manhattan bike lane on Halloween 2017, a judge said. Condemned his “ruthless” crimes.
“The conduct in this case is the worst, if not the worst I have ever seen,” said U.S. District Judge Vernon S Broderick, representing the Islamic State group.
The mandatory life sentence came after a jury threw out the death sentence in March, but prosecutors asked Broderick for eight consecutive life sentences and two simultaneous life sentences. They also want an extension of another 260 years to send a stern message to other like-minded terrorists. That’s what judges do.
Broderick cited the contempt of Saipov, who, when given the opportunity to speak, said that in six months the tears of victims and families in court would fill a tissue while Islamists around the world Tears and blood would fill a tissue. court.
In a rambling rant delivered through a translator, Saipov spent the better part of an hour talking about the creation of religion and how the devil played a role in creating humans.
When he finished, a relative of one of his victims stood up and yelled, “The only act of the devil here is what you did!” Then she sat down immediately, and Broderick delivered the sentence.
“You don’t, and you don’t care about their pain and suffering,” the judge said of Saipov’s victims. He called Saipov’s attack a “callous and cowardly act,” noting that even Saipov’s relatives, including his father, were ashamed of his crime and “traumatized and changed forever.”
Saipov, 35, a citizen of Uzbekistan and former New Jersey resident, is expected to serve his sentence at a maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado, for the Oct. 31, 2017 massacre of tourists and New Yorkers.
Relatives of the eight people killed in the terror attack sometimes burst into tears during the sentencing, describing their lingering pain and sometimes speaking directly to those convicted in the deaths.
Frank Decadt, the father of victim Ann-Laure Decadt, told Saipov he hoped “one day you will understand the extent of the horror you have caused so many people.”
Sitting in a wheelchair, Marion Vanders, who lost both legs in the attack, sat in front of Saipov and told him: “I will never be able to walk like you.”
Saipov, keeping her head down and eyes down, listened to the translation through headphones, and said: “I have a question for you. After all this time in prison, do you still believe in your crimes against innocents?” Is it the right thing to do?”
Like others, she expressed the hope that one day Saibov would see that he was wrong for his terror.
Gabriela Pabla Pereya, wife of Ariel Erlij, was one of five Argentine men killed on a bicycle while celebrating the 30th anniversary of her high school graduation Gabriela Pabla Pereya gave the shortest statement at the sentencing hearing. She called Saipov a coward and said if he really wanted God to “accept and love you, then kill yourself.”
Monica Missio, whose son Nicholas Cleves was killed, told Sepov his death had “completely ruined my life.”
Five Argentine tourists, two Americans and a Belgian woman were killed and 18 others were seriously injured.
Saipov was shot dead by a police officer after getting out of his truck, shouting “God is great” in Arabic and waving a paintball gun and pellet gun in the air, and was taken into custody immediately.
Prosecutors said he smiled when he asked FBI agents, who interrogated him in the hospital room after the attack, whether they could hang an Islamic State flag on the wall.
At his trial, his family urged a life sentence and said they hoped he would realize what he had done and express remorse. They said they wanted him to return to the passive man they remembered him as before he became obsessed with online propaganda put out by the Islamic State militant group.
Saipov, a former long-haul truck driver, legally immigrated to the U.S. from Uzbekistan in 2010, living in Ohio and Florida before joining his family in Paterson, New Jersey.
Among those attending Wednesday’s sentencing was jury foreman John Francis Patrick III. He told reporters that one of the things jurors looked at during their deliberations was evidence that Saipov wore a seat belt during the attack, despite his claim that he wanted to be a martyr. He noted that Saipov had been in his seat when he crashed into the school bus after the murderous run.
“He didn’t hit the windshield,” Patrick said. “I thought to myself, a real martyr doesn’t wear a seat belt.” (AP)
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