The final two defendants in the 2010 killing of Chandler police officer Carlos Ledesma have been sentenced and will spend decades behind bars.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced Monday that Corey Royalty, 50, and Jerry Cockhearn, 37, have been sentenced to 43 years to life in prison and 38 years to life in prison, respectively.
Royalty must serve 43 years and Cockhearn 38 years before the possibility of release, authorities said.
Ledesma was killed in July 2010 and two other officers were injured during a planned armed robbery that involved 10 co-conspirators, two of whom died that day in addition to Ledesma, according to a release issued Monday by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
In May, a Maricopa County Jury found both Royalty and Cockhearn guilty of eight felony counts, including three counts of first-degree murder.
Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan and Ledesma’s widow were in the courtroom to witness the sentencing that occurred last month, the release stated.
"Holding those responsible for the murder of Chandler Police Detective Carlos Ledesma has been a frustrating and emotional process,” Duggan said.
"Twelve years later, the Ledesma family and the men and women of the Chandler Police Department finally have a sense of closure."
County Attorney Rachel Mitchell stated in the release: “The death or injury of any officer in this community is a tragedy. The men and women of law enforcement put their life on the line every day to keep our community safe but, the reality that some may not return home at the end of a shift is occurring all too often in Maricopa County.”
“Ensuring that these dangerous individuals will not be allowed to walk the streets where these brave officers were gunned down is possible because of the hard work by Chandler police and prosecutors in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and the patience and grace of these officers’ families.
“I applaud their efforts and pray for the family of officer Ledesma who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”