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CHICAGO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - An Indiana man was sentenced to life in prison without parole for fatally shooting a police officer while he sat inside his patrol car, according to local media.
Carl Blount, 28, shot and killed Gary Police Department officer Jeffrey Westerfield, 47, in July 2014. Blount pleaded guilty in January and his sentence was handed down by a judge Wednesday, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported.
The state agreed to abandon its pursuit of the death penalty if Blount accepted the life sentence. A deal was able to be reached because of Blount's alleged involvement in two other shooting deaths in June 2014, the newspaper said. Prosecutors threatened to charge Blount in those killings if he did not accept the agreement.
Westerfield was a 19-year veteran of the Gary Police Department, according to city officials. Gary is located around 30 miles (50 km) from Chicago, Illinois, near Lake Michigan.
Westerfield was responding to a call about an altercation between Blount and his ex-girlfriend, according to the newspaper, when he was shot and killed by Blount on what was his birthday.
Blount offered condolences to the Westerfield family in court on Wednesday in a statement read by his attorney, Richard Wolter, the newspaper reported. (Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Alan Crosby)