Former Police Officer Sentenced In Son’s Death

Former Police Officer Sentenced In Son’s Death

HERKIMER, N.Y. (NBC) - Former Rochester police officer Michael Leach was sentenced in Herkimer County Court Tuesday for the shooting death of his son, Matthew Leach, in an Old Forge Hotel room two years ago.
HERKIMER, N.Y. (NBC) - Former Rochester police officer Michael Leach was sentenced in Herkimer County Court Tuesday for the shooting death of his son, Matthew Leach, in an Old Forge Hotel room two years ago.

Leach's whole family was with him in court Tuesday as he heard his sentence for his plea two months ago to criminally negligent homicide.

Leach was sentenced to five years probation with the first 180 days to be spent in the Herkimer County Jail. The plea was worked out after psychiatrists both for the defense and prosecution agreed that Leach suffered post traumatic stress disorder and severe sleep issues stemming from an "on the job incident" back in the 1970's.

The plea to criminally negligent homicide says he failed to perceive the risk of letting those issues go untreated; which, when coupled with the fact that he slept with a loaded handgun, turned deadly.

Among the family in court in support of Michael leach was his ex-wife, victim Matthew Leach's mother. "I know what my son would want and he certainly would not want the way this turned out. He was a very loving son and the family supports Mike 110 percent”, said Linda Leach.

Matthew Leach's widow didn't show up for her father in-law’s sentencing, but she did send a powerful letter, which prosecutor Jeff Carpenter read. Leach himself didn't speak.

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