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A 61-year-old Chicago man who was shot 28 times by Chicago police officers in 2005 -- and lived to tell his side of the story -- was sentenced early Thursday afternoon to serve 40 years in prison, essentially a life sentence.
Howard Morgan, himself a former Chicago police officer, was sentenced on an attempted murder charge Thursday, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
NBC Chicago's Michelle Relerford tweeted from the sentencing that Morgan said, "I am in God's hands" as he awaited Judge Clayton J. Crane's decision.
Morgan was off-duty as a detective for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad when he was pulled over for driving the wrong way on a one-way street on Feb. 21, 2005, the Sun-Times previously reported. While both police and Morgan agree on that much, what happened next is a mystery.
According to police, Morgan opened fire with his service weapon when four white officers tried to arrest him, which caused them to shoot him 28 times. His family disputes the police officers' account of the altercation.
Thursday, Morgan's wife Rosalind said, as reported by NBC Chicago, "My heart is very heavy, but I have to maintain my composure because I don't want them to think they got the best of us."
Rosalind reiterated Thursday that she believes Chicago police are not telling the truth about her husband.
"He never fired his weapon. There was no gun residue on his hand, and he didn’t fire his weapon," Rosalind told CBS. "They shot him 21 times in the back parts of his body and seven times in the front, and left him there in a puddle of blood. He made it then, and God will allow him to make it again."
Morgan was initially charged with the additional counts of aggravated battery and discharging a weapon at a police officer. Though he was previously acquitted of those charges, a jury found him guilty in January in a retrial on the previously deadlocked attempted murder charge, ABC Chicago reports.
Morgan faced a sentence of up to 80 years in prison. A Change.org petition signed by nearly 10,000 people as of Thursday had called for all charges against Morgan to be dropped. Supporters who created the petition also contend that Morgan "was never tested for gun residue to confirm if he even fired a weapon on the morning in question."
To learn more about Howard Morgan's case, visit FreeHowardMorgan.com.