Convicted cop killer Robert Iacoviello Jr. got little leniency from the court Friday afternoon when he was sentenced to concurrent prison terms in Cedar Junction State Prison.
Judge Patrick Brady sentenced Iacoviello – who was found guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of Revere Police Officer Dan Talbot – to three years in state prison, to be followed by a term of life in prison with the possibility of parole in 15 years.
The three-year term was instituted for Iacoviello possessing the illegal gun that killed Talbot, while the life term came due to the second-degree murder charge.
Prosecutor Ed Zabin asked the judge before sentencing not to let the victim’s actions that might have occurred lessen the sentence.
“While it’s clear some of Officer Talbot’s actions were unprofessional and should not have been undertaken by a police officer,” said Zabin. “They were not the actions, though, of an individual…who had done anything to provoke the kind of violence that came from these defendants – specifically not only from Robert Iacoviello, but also Derek Lodie.”
Defense Attorney Peter Krupp advocated for the sentences to run together, but that was denied.
He produced 16 letters sent in defense of Iacoviello, reading some of them to the court, including one from Iacoviello’s parents.
“We feel in our hearts the jury got it wrong,” they wrote. “We know the son we raised couldn’t do such a horrible thing to another human being…He is a kind, caring human being.”
There was also a plea from the mother of Iacoviello’s four-year-old daughter, Gianna.
Iacoviello was given 858 days (about 2.5 years) of jail credit for the time he has served since he was first arrested.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Heang was sentenced to 3 to 6 years in Cedar Junction State Prison for the conviction on being an accessory after the fact of murder.
He has already served nearly 2 1/2 years since his arrest in 2007.
His attorney, Willie Davis, issued the sternest criticism of the case yet during Heang’s sentencing, focusing particularly on the many cooperating witness deals that the prosecution made to get the conviction.
“In this particular case, I…have to say the prosecution made a deal with the devil – the devil being [Jimmy Heang’s brother], Johnny Heang,” he said. “I maintain Johnny Heang should have been a defendant as well. [Jimmy] did nothing to help Robert Iacoviello, but he did it to help Johnny Heang…That is an affirmative defense.”
Meanwhile, prior to sentencing, four people connected to Talbot were allowed to address the court in very moving impact statements. They were Talbot’s mother, Patricia; Talbot’s fiancée, Connie; Revere Police Officer Rob Impemba; and Talbot’s brother, Paul.
Paul Talbot spoke of a conversation with his four year old son, who wished that Iacoviello would go to jail and get better so that he wouldn’t want to hurt anyone else.
“He was right,” said Talbot. “Hopefully, Robert Iacoviello will learn from this. Hopefully, we will all learn from this. Every single action and decision we make, whether as small as drinking in public or as drastic as grabbing a gun and shooting someone, has a consequence for those around us. The Iacoviellos, instead of having grandkids and having their son, will have visits to prison for the next 15 to 25 years, or my family, who only have memories, or me – who when I need advice from my older brother – I only have a stone to talk to.”
Talbot’s mother made a statement that gangs and guns don’t mix.
“Gangs and guns don’t belong in America,” she said. “I hope you two really learn something out of this. I have seen your parents, Robert. They are very nice. I feel bad you are such a disappointment to them. I hope every time you think about it, you understand you took a piece of my heart that can never be put back. I hope you get the maximum sentence possible, both of you.”
Officer Robert Impemba, of the Revere Police, said that it has been a trying time for the force.
“There was so much said in newspaper articles or on the mindless blogs,” said Impemba. “It seemed there was always somebody somewhere who didn’t know Danny and tried to paint an awful picture of who he was…He was an honest, hard-working police officer…You (Robert Iacoviello) will not be able to understand the heartache you’ve caused us – his friends and family – for not being able to have him back.”
Finally, his former fiancée, Connie Bethel, said she could finally start the grieving process after more than two years in limbo. She said his death has left her in a constant emotional, mental and financial struggle, one that has left her with an overwhelming sense of anxiety.
“The trouble is, I will never be able to completely articulate the effect Dan’s murder has had on me,” she said. “With one pull of a trigger, his life was ended. I will never understand how [Robert Iacoviello] could have shot into an open field and taken someone’s life. I would give anything not to be here today.”