Florida man who shot police officers sentenced to life

JACKSONVILLE — A man let out a string of curse words as bailiffs led him from the courtroom after a judge sentenced him to life in prison for shooting two Jacksonville police officers.

Judge Mallory D. Cooper ruled Friday that 41-year-old Rodney Newberry should serve consecutive life terms. A jury found Newberry guilty in June of shooting officers Ronald Bilyew and William Shrum in March 2010. Both survived the hail of bullets Newberry unleashed.

Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda says the sentence sends a strong message that violence against police officers will not be tolerated. The state argued that Newberry had already been convicted of shooting someone four times in the 1990s. That victim also survived.

Bilyew and Shrum were awarded purple hearts by Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford.

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