CLEVELAND -- Israel Alvarez, the man who killed Cleveland police officer David Fahey in a January 2017 hit-and-run crash, will spend the next 12 years behind bars.
That was the maximum punishment Alvarez faced Friday morning after entering a plea deal last month in which he admitted guilt to several charges in the case, including aggravated vehicular homicide with a peace officer specification.
His driver's license was also suspended for life.
"Mr. Alvarez, you may never drive a vehicle again," the judge declared as somebody in the court exclaimed, "Yes!"
Alvarez offered some comments shortly before the judge issued his punishment.
"I don't have the words in my vocabulary to express how sorry I am," Alvarez said. "There's just no way for me to sit here and express in any words of how I feel and how sorry I am. I can't relate to what they're going through. I'm not in that situation. I can't relate to the pain that the family is going through. They can't relate to the pain that I'm going through and what my family is going through as well. This is more than one family that's suffering over this. This is more than one family and friends who are going through this struggle and going through the pain emotionally as to what happened."
The courtroom was filled with police officers who were there to witness the sentencing -- including Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams.
Before Alvarez offered his comments, multiple people spoke on behalf of officer Fahey -- including Chief Williams, who shed tears while pleading with the judge to implement the maximum possible punishment against Alvarez.
"There is nothing that can be done that would be acceptable except to have David back here," Chief Williams said as his voice cracked with emotion. "We ask that you do all you can within the laws of this state to give the maximum to this person. We know that there are bounds to this, but we ask that you give the maximum to this person because David is gone from us forever and this person gets to sit in a cell for a few years. That's not fair. It's not fair to his police family or his family."
Fahey's brothers and mother also addressed the judge.
"I rushed to the hospital to comfort my son, but instead I was met with the heartbreaking news that my son, my baby, my first-born child did not survive," Fahey's mother said with tears in her eyes. "My whole life was shattered. Walking into the hospital room I could barely breathe. I could not believe what I was seeing. This had to be a mistake, but it wasn't a mistake. My son. My strong, handsome, goofy son was gone. His life tragically cut short by the willful action of a cruel stranger."
Fahey's mother also offered some comments to Alvarez.
"For the past 22 months you have dominated our thoughts and lives," she said. "You've done everything to delay our grieving process. You have denied your guilt. You made no attempt to show remorse for your actions. There is nothing that can make my loss bearable. There is no such thing as closure when referring to the loss of my son."
Alvarez was charged after he struck and killed Cleveland officer Fahey on I-90 West near Warren Road. Fahey, 39, was assisting with an unrelated crash scene when he was struck and killed by a Toyota Camry driven by Alvarez.
Alvarez fled the crash scene and was arrested at a Lorain home later that day. Arresting officers used Fahey's handcuffs to make the arrest. The portion of I-90 where Fahey died was renamed in his honor last summer.
We streamed the entire court hearing, which you can watch in its entirety HERE: