Man gets prison in death of Phoenix police officer

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A man charged in the hit-and-run death of a Phoenix police officer has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 24-year-old Jesus Cabrera Molina also was sentenced Friday to seven years of probation.

He pleaded no contest to charges of negligent homicide and hit-and-run with death or injury.

Molina originally was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal collision.

Police say 29-year-old Officer Daryl Raetz was conducting a DUI stop on May 19, 2013 in west Phoenix when another vehicle struck him and fled the scene. The six-year veteran later died at a hospital.

The officer's wife, Stephanie Raetz, tearfully addressed Molina in court about the loss that has not only changed her life but that of her young daughter, Tatum.

"From her demeanor to her looks to the things she says, it's a constant reminder of her father who is no longer here with us," she said. "It breaks my heart to see him in her. It's a constant reminder of the our loss, a constant reminder of what you took away from us."

She continued, "How does a 7-year-old know to ask questions about somebody else's actions? 'Mom, why did he choose to drive and kill my dad? Why did he run away and not stay and help Dad? I thought you're supposed to help policemen because they always help us.' "

Investigators matched pieces of the vehicle from the scene with parts missing from Molina's SUV.

Molina told police he was drinking and doing cocaine hours before the accident.

Molina said in Spanish, "I just want to ask for forgiveness for all the harm that this accident caused."