OKLAHOMA CITY – Keith Sweeney, a former Oklahoma City police sergeant found guilty of second-degree murder after shooting and killing an unarmed, suicidal man in 2017, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The judge told the courtroom she thought long and hard about the sentencing, saying it was not a light decision. But in the end, it was a judgment she had to make, saying she couldn't treat the officer any differently.
It's a 10-year prison sentence for Keith Sweeney. The police sergeant officially sentenced Wednesday afternoon.
“Tragedy for Sweeney. I said this the night of the verdict – it is a tragedy for the United States Navy, Oklahoma City Police – nobody won in this instance,” said Defense Attorney Gary James.
Sweeney was found guilty of second-degree murder after shooting and killing 29-year-old Dustin Pigeon back in 2017.
In court, Sweeney saying he opened fire because he thought Pigeon, who was soaked in lighter fluid, had a weapon. An investigation later revealed Pigeon was unarmed, suicidal and no threat to police.
Moments after the judge's sentencing, Pigeon's family spoke to News 4.
“Just like the court said, there is no winner here. We respect the decision of the court and we feel like justice is served,” said the victim’s cousin Willard Culley.
Body-cam video shows two officers pleading with Pigeon, when Sweeney, only on scene for 12 seconds, comes in, threatening to shoot. “Drop it!' I will f-ing shoot you! Get on the ground!”
Seconds later, Pigeon was dead. His family saying as painful as his death was, they're now shifting their focus, hoping what happened to their brother will be a reminder to all law enforcement officials.
“If this isn't a job you want to do anymore and you show up to a place, with no sincerity, then get out of the job, find another profession,” said Pigeon’s sister Tesina Halbert.