BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The man who shot Buffalo Police Officer Patricia Parete will not be re tried on first-degree murder charges. Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita says this was one of the most difficult decisions he ever made as a prosecutor.
Parete had struggled for six years with paralysis from the neck down. She and officer Carl Andolina were shot by Harris after they responded to a fight call in December of 2006.
Parete died this past February. The medical examiner ruled her death was caused by her severe gunshot wounds. Harris is already serving a 30 year to life sentence.
In a letter to Parete's father, Anthony, Frank Sedita wrote "...it is highly unlikely that Harris will ever be released from state prison."
"Patti did not want Harris to be re-prosecuted in the event of her death, " wrote Sedita. "You, (meaning her father), as well as all her other loved ones, have also advised me not to re-open this case."
A new trial would have put the family through the trauma all over again. There is also the possibility that Harris could actually receive a reduced sentence of 20 years to life, even if found guilty of first degree murder, according to the D.A.
Frank Sedita declined to be interviewed today.
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