MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – Maryann Briggs faced the man who murdered her police-officer son Monday and told him he will take no more from her family.

“Your name will never be uttered from my lips again,” Mrs. Briggs told Michael Addison shortly before a judge formally sentenced him to die for killing Manchester police Officer Michael Briggs in 2006.

“You will not be a memory nor a part of our history,” she said. “You and only you are to blame for the sentence you received. I will not look back and feel anything for you except justice was done.”

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Kathleen McGuire had no choice but to impose the sentence ordered Thursday by the jury. The death sentence is the first since 1959 in New Hampshire, which last executed a man in 1939.

Addison, a former Boston gang member with a long criminal record, had been turned slightly away from Mrs. Briggs when she began addressing him.

“Mr. Addison, she’s speaking to you. I’d like you to look at her,” McGuire said.

A state Supreme Court review of the conviction and sentence is automatic, and Addison’s lawyers say they will appeal.

They had sought a life sentence, arguing that Addison acted recklessly, not intentionally, and suffered from an abusive childhood and possible brain damage from his mother’s heavy drinking while she was pregnant.

Prosecutors emphasized Addison’s record of violence, including a crime spree a week before he shot Briggs in the head. They noted that Addison had said he would “pop a cop” if necessary to avoid arrest.

Michael Briggs’ wife Laura and the couple’s sons, Brian, 13, and Mitchell, 10, attended Monday, as did Laura Briggs’ sister and nephew. All three of Briggs’ sisters were there with their parents, Mrs. Briggs and her husband Leland.

The two men sentenced to death in 1959 were spared when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down capital punishment for a time in the 1970s. In 2004, a federal judge in Massachusetts, which has no death penalty, ordered convicted killer Gary Sampson executed in New Hampshire, but Sampson is appealing and is being held in Indiana.

State legislators have been debating the death penalty for about a decade, repeatedly rejecting efforts to repeal it. Death penalty foes say they will decide soon whether to try again next year.

The defense admitted on the first day of the trial that Addison killed Briggs, but said the act was reckless, not intentional.

“It was fast and it was totally unplanned,” defense attorney David Rothstein said in his opening statement. “It was a reckless act that ended in a terrible tragedy.”

Addison had been on a crime spree the week before the shooting and had said he would “pop a cop” if necessary. When Briggs, 35, and his bicycle partner came across Addison and friend Antoine Bell-Rogers in an alley early on Oct. 16, 2006, they recognized the men as a suspects in a recent shooting and two armed robberies and ordered them to stop. Addison turned and shot Briggs in the head at close range, testimony showed.

Prosecutors called the shooting cold-blooded and premeditated, but jurors rejected the state’s theory that Addison had planned to shoot an officer that night.

“The flaws in his childhood simply cannot replace the pain and suffering that he has inflicted on innocent victims throughout adult life,” Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said during the trial. “There are millions (and) millions of people in this country who unfortunately come from far, far worse backgrounds than the defendant and they don’t go out and harm and murder people. That was his choice. … It’s shameful the defendant is using his deceased mother as an excuse for the repeated devastation that he has caused and his own choices he made as an adult.”


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