LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Ian Howard, the man accused of killing Lafayette Police Cpl. Michael Middlebrook, has reached a plea deal that will keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.
Howard pleaded guilty to one count of first degree murder and three counts of attempted first degree murder in the shooting of Cpl. Middlebrook and three others in October 2017.
According to District Attorney Don Landry prosecutors planned to seek the death penalty, but accepted the plea deal for life in prison. After the proceedings Tuesday, Landry held a press conference.
“A number of conditions were demanded by the state, which included the defendant serving his entire sentence in a single cell at Angola, and the defendant agreeing not to ask for pardon or any type of relief that would result in his release from prison,” said Landry.
Howard previously pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity for Middlebrook’s death.
The wife of Cpl. Middlebrook, Adrienne Middlebrook, released a statement to KLFY News after the proceedings.
“Today is not closure for my family and I, but it does provide us with a sense of peace by not having to go through the ups and downs of going back and forth to court, we can now move forward,” said Adrienne Middlebrook.
As Howard sat before the judge, members of the Middlebrook’s family including his sisters Michelle and Mandy spoke directly to Howard.
Middlebrook’s youngest sister Mandy told Howard the pain of her brother’s absence is felt every day and she prays for the day she can find the strength to forgive Howard.
The Police Association of Lafayette also released a statement Tuesday, commenting on the result of the proceedings.
“Today marks the end of the rollercoaster of justice that has plagued the Middlebrook family for the past six years. While it cannot replace the man that was Michael Middlebrook, we take solace in knowing that his killer will never walk the streets as a free man to inflict any more pain and suffering on any other family,” said the police association.
The association also said they will commit that the Middlebrook family will always remain a part of the Lafayette police family.
Cpl. Middlebrook was a nine-year veteran of the Lafayette Police Department. He was the first Lafayette Police Officer to die in the line of duty in almost 50 years.
Two other officers and Cpl. Middlebrook were responding to a call of an aggravated assault with a firearm at a convenience store on Moss Street when he was shot.
Two years later, Plantation Elementary was renamed Corporal Michael Middlebrook Elementary to honor the fallen officer. Former Police Chief Toby Aguillard told us this was a fitting tribute to the fallen officer.
“I can think of no greater monument to Michael, then to name a school after him”
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