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Former Richmond officer sentenced to 3 months in death of teen

Posted at 4:58 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 18:38:31-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Former Richmond Police Officer David Cobb was sentenced to three months in jail for the 2015 shooting death of 18-year-old Paterson Brown Jr.

This comes after the former officer was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in February.

Judge David Johnson called the case a "tragedy across the board" and imposed the jury's recommended sentence of three months and a $1,000 fine.

He was also ordered to pay $2,000 to the Virginia Victim’s Association Fund for Brown’s funeral expenses.

The nine-year veteran was off-duty at the time of the shooting. He resigned from the Richmond Police Department after his conviction.

David Cobb

“His life changed forever that day, regardless of what the court did,” Cobb’s attorney David Baugh, said about Wednesday’s sentencing. "Every day of his life whether he was convicted or acquitted, my client will wonder why didn't that kid put his hands up."

Cobb shot and killed Brown at a car wash by the Sunoco gas station off Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield on October 17, 2015. Cobb had driven his girlfriend's car to get it washed that day.

Police said Brown entered Cobb's the car, and that's when a confrontation ensued.

Paterson Brown Jr.

The former officer admitted to shooting the teenager, but only because he thought Brown had a weapon and was a threat to himself and others. Brown was unarmed.

Cobb's first trial ended in a mistrial after the jury could not return a unanimous verdict on the second-degree murder charge.

Wednesday Baugh argued for a suspended sentence, but Judge Johnson would not acquiesce.

A move that was a surprise for some Cobb supporters.

"I can't even begin to believe what it would be like to be a police officer and be incarcerated.  He's lost everything, said Sheryl Nici-O'Donnell, Richmond United For Law Enforcement.

Sheryl Nici-O'Donnell said the nine year veteran of the Richmond police department had a huge impact in his church, community and on the many young people he mentored.

She said jail time for David Cobb is a travesty of justice. ​

"I stand here wondering why anybody would even want to go into law enforcement anymore. If you can't protect yourself, how are you supposed to protect the common public?" she said.

Brown's family left the courthouse after Wednesday's sentencing with no comment.