PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – Former Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the killing of a motorist in 2015.
The family of Corey Jones, singing “Victory is Mine” while leaving the Palm Beach County Courthouse after Raja was sentenced.
“On count 1, I hear-by sentence you him to 25 years in the Department of Corrections,” said Judge Joseph Marx. “On court 2, I hearby sentence Mr. Raja to 25 years in the Department of Corrections.”
Raja appeared different in court after spending more than a month behind bars.
He will serve those two 25 year sentences at the same time.
Prosecutors asked from a life sentence, and so did Jones’ family.
“No one was there to hold his hand, to comfort him or to save his life,” cried Shiela Banks, the Aunt of Jones. “He was alone. God is helping us through this. The person that we trusted to serve and protect did not. Raja does not deserve minimum punish. Raja deserves the maximum sentence possible.”
Raja fatally shot Jones after Jones’ car broke down on a highway exit ramp in the middle of the night.
Raja was working undercover and was driving an unmarked van.
Prosecutors say he never identified himself, making Jones feel he was about to be robbed.
Jones pulled his gun, so do Raja, firing 6 shots. Three hit jones.
Raja wiped away tears as his wife pleaded for a reduced sentence, mentioning their children.
“The future of two innocent children linger on the lenience of this court,” said Karine Raja. “Their lives are forever changed, forever scarred. Please use any discretion you might have to help our family heal these wounds.”
The Jones Family was hoping for more than a 25-year sentence, but is pleased.
“I’m thankful for it,” said brother CJ Jones. “We got 25. A lot of people don’t get anything. They get off, so I’m very happy for that.”
Raja was the first Florida officer in nearly 30 years to be convicted and sentenced for an on-duty killing and one of a few nationwide.
Last month, Raja was convicted of manslaughter and attempted first-degree murder in the killing of Jones.
Jones’ vehicle had broken down along an I-95 ramp when Raja confronted and shot him in October 2015.
Thursday, Corey’s older brother, CJ, said he still stunned and saddened by the loss.
“It’s like I’m in a horror dream, I’m hoping I can wake up so I can have my brother back,” he said. “It’s hard, it’s really hard, it’s really hard.”
At Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Clinton Jones Sr. told the judge he still has his son’s number programmed into his cell because he can’t stand the finality of deleting it.
He said he wanted Raja to get a life sentence, not out of hatred but because of the pain he had caused the Jones family.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)