WOBURN, Mass. (WHDH) — Four defendants pleaded guilty Monday to charges in connection with a violent armed robbery and shooting that injured a Woburn police officer.
Woburn police officer Robert DeNapoli, a 16-year-veteran, was the first to arrive at the scene in September of 2011.
When he pulled up, one of the robbers opened fire, hitting DeNapoli and littering his cruiser with bullet holes.
DeNapoli suffered serious injuries and is now blind in his left eye — but he was in court on Monday, happy to see the case come to a close.
"With the court case going to be over, I think, you know, freeing up our time a little more, not worrying about it, it's going to take some strain off us,” DeNapoli said.
The gunman, 27-year-old Antonio Matos, was arrested as he tried to flee the scene. The other three were tracked down later that year.
The district attorney insists the guilty pleas were not part of a deal.
"These defendants did not receive charge considerations in exchange for pleading guilty, they pled to the indictments for which they had been charged,” said Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan.
Matos was sentenced to 25 to 30 years in prison. The other defendants received lesser sentences.
As for DeNapoli, he says he will always have to live with the reminders of that fateful day.
"I mean I drive by that area all the time where I got shot at Four Corners, They're always going to be there, the blindness reminds me every day when I wake up," DeNapoli said.
DeNapoli will no longer serve as a police officer, but says one of his sons is a reserve officer and another is considering joining the police.