Meriden Police Officer Sentenced to 14 Months - NBC Connecticut

Meriden Police Officer Sentenced to 14 Months



    Evan Cossette was sentenced to 14 months in prison for using excessive force against a prisoner. (Published Monday, Sept. 23, 2013)

    A former Meriden police officer was sentenced to two years in prison on charges of using unreasonable force against a handcuffed man and lying about it in a report.

    Evan Cossette, the son of police Chief Jeffry Cossette, was sentenced Monday in federal court New Haven.  The judge also sentenced Cossette to one year of supervised release.

    Prosecutors had urged the judge to sentence him within the guidelines range of 27 to 33 months. Cossette's attorney asked for home confinement and community service.

    Surveillance video played during the trial showed Cossette pushing Pedro Temich into a jail cell in 2010. Temich fell and hit his head on a concrete bench, causing a 12-centimeter gash and knocking Temich unconscious, according to prosecutors.

    "A prison term is appropriate for any police officer who inflicts injury on a restrained and compliant victim and then attempts to obstruct the ensuing investigation," said Deirdre Daly, Acting U.S. Attorney from Connecticut.

    Cossette testified he didn't intend to injure Temich. He said he thought Temich was about to head-butt him when he pushed him and was surprised he fell.

    Cossette's attorney said his client is not the person who was portrayed during court proceedings.

    "He would never intentionally harm someone.  The video paints a different picture,' Ray Hassett said outside court.  "But it's a five-second sound bite or video of an individual's actions and reactions as a police officer, but that's not indicative of who Evan Cossette is."

    Cossette is scheduled to begin serving his sentence on December 3.