"I'd like to say I'm sorry to the Kenner family"
Steven Bannister speaks before he is sentenced for the murder of Sgt. Steve Kenner.
Bannister will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing Bismarck Police Sergeant Steve Kenner.
Bannister shot Kenner while responding to a call July 8th 2011.
<<Judge Reich: "No sentence I can impose can restore the loss that has been suffered by the surviving victims in this tragedy, but I can impose the maximum sentence."
Judge David Reich leaves no room for excuses as he sentences Steven Bannister to life in prison without parole.
Defense Attorney Steven Mottinger, "I can tell you this, if he could undo what happened that evening he would." or "I don't see him as a bad man, I see him as a man who made a bad mistake."
Steven Bannister, "I would like to say sorry to Kenner family. His wife and everybody. I'm sorry."
Bannister's attorney had asked for a more lenient sentence of 25 years, saying 53 year old Bannister has very poor health.
(Burleigh County Prosecutor, Richard Riha) "I think the judge punished the act that occurred, not his condition now."
The life sentence is the harshest available, a sentence that got a "yes" out of officers sitting in the courtroom and thumbs up.
(Deputy Chief Dan Donlin) "Sgt. Kenner's Memory will live on every time an officer puts on a uniform."
Deputy Chief Dan Donlin read a statement on behalf of the Bismarck Police Department.
"This day brings us together for sentencing of a murderer, it is a day we will remember Sgt. Steve Kenner, a hero."
Officer Brad Jerome witnessed the fatal shooting of his fellow officer, A night he's reminded of every day.
(Officer Brad Jerome) "I go to work every evening, knowing that steve kenner's kids don't have their dads coming home at night. Even though my little girl does."
Officers describe Kenner as a top notch officer and genuine good man, who served his community in every way possible.
The Kenner way, inspires them to continue on.
Officer Jerome, "It's tough, I know sgt. would have done, I put on uniform everyday knowing that's what he would have done.">>
Prosecutor Richard Riha says there were 126 letters in Sgt. Steve Kenner's personnel file from his 32 years at the Bismarck Police Department.
They were letters of thanks even from defendants who said Kenner helped them turn their lives around.