MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee County judge sentenced Demario Bell to 32 years in prison and another 15 years of extended supervision Tuesday. This, in connection with a shootout Bell had with West Allis police in August 2010.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Bell, two West Allis police officers confronted Bell in an apartment near 55th and Greenfield Ave. on August 7, 2010. This, after one of the officers was tracking a car that was driving erratically.
When Bell came to the apartment door, the complaint says his hands were behind his back. The officers say Bell revealed one hand which held a cell phone but he refused to show the other hand.
One of the officers was then ordered to tase Bell. When that order came, the officers say Bell fired a shot from a handgun, injuring two of the officers.
In court Tuesday, Officer Nick Stachula talked about the moment he was fired upon. "Once I was shot in the leg, the bullet tore through causing me to fall to the ground. At this time, Demario Bell continued to fire his weapon striking me a second time in the leg," said Stachula.
Stachula says the road to recovery from his wounds has been a long one. He says the incident will haunt him for life. "As I go about my duties as a law enforcement officer, I knock on many doors. To this day, every door I knock on, I'm preparing for an assault on my life," said Stachula.
Family members of Bell expressed their deepest sympathies to the officers and their families. They also pleaded for leniency from the court. "I know there's no excuse for what he did. I"m not trying to excuse it and I sincerely apologize to you and your families for what you've been through."
In the end, the judge sentenced Bell to 32 years in prison.