Former Tacoma Police Captain Sentenced
KENNEWICK, Wash. - The former Tacoma police captain convicted of killing his friend received his sentence Friday. Walter Copland learned how long he will spend in prison, and for the first time he spoke out about the night he killed Al Anthis.
The court sentenced Copland to 12 and a half years in prison, but before Benton County Superior Court Judge Cameron Mitchell made his ruling, he carefully listened to words from the Anthis family, including Al's daughter.
"He took my father, my children's grandfather," said Jodi Santillie.
For first time Copland himself pleaded before the court. He said the night of September 15th, 2005 he said he suffered an alcoholic blackout, and doesn't remember pulling the trigger.
"I know it's inconceivable, absolutely inconceivable that I could've shot Al," Copland said.
The Anthis family watched in anger as Copland explained he still believes he is innocent.
"I can't say I'm sorry, I did it, because I honestly don't believe, based on what I saw and the information I have, that I shot Al," said Copland.
Although the Anthis family said they are glad to finally gain closure of the death their beloved father, and grandfather, they said wish Copland would take responsibility for what he did.
"Even in the beginning there was no lack of evidence for what he had done. Yet there was still no remorse, no sense of being sorry," said Son-in-law Kevin Santillie.
Copland said he understood the family wanted remorse, but said the court system isn't set up that way.
Copland will remain in the Benton County Justice Center until Washington State Deptartment of Corrections decides which prison it will send him to.
Brett Purtzer, Copland's Defense Attorney, said he plans to appeal Copland's sentence and verdict.