Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Friday he will seek the death penalty against Thomas Hardy, who was charged with murder and other felonies in the January shooting death of Indianapolis police Officer David Moore.
Thomas Hardy, 60, pleaded not guilty last month to charges of murder, robbery with a deadly weapon and possession of a handgun by a serious violent felon.
Moore, 29, a six-year veteran of the department, was shot twice in the face and once in the thigh during a traffic stop in the 3400 block of Temple Avenue. A fourth shot fired at Moore's chest bruised the officer, but his bulletproof vest kept that bullet from piercing his skin.
Curry, flanked by police leaders and Moore's parents, said Friday he believes evidence will show Moore's shooting was intentional and that it justified the ultimate punishment.
"The office followed a deliberative and thoughtful process in making our decision," Curry said. "This is more than a crime against our police officer. This is a crime against our community. Anything less … minimizes the loss of Officer Moore."
Moore's father, retired Indianapolis police Lt. Spencer Moore, said he and his wife stand behind the prosecutor's decision.
"They did confer with us on a regular basis. We will support the prosecutor's actions, regardless of what they are," he said. "I'm prepared to do anything for my son and to see that justice is served."
Some have raised questions about the cost of what will likely be a lengthy death penalty trial and subsequent appeals, particularly because Hardy is already 60 years ago.
"I think its going to cost the county a lot of money, a lot of money we don't have right now," said Marion County Chief Public Defender Bob Hill. "I don't say that to trivialize the events, or trivialize anything. But I do say that as a financial reality."
But Curry said his office took all factors into consideration when making its decision.
"Defense costs alone will be significant. There will be a significant cost for our office to prosecute a capital case. But is it worth it? Absolutely," he said.
"The cost of protecting our public servants is without measure," Spencer Moore said. "I don't want someone in this community thinking that just because they have age, they have benefit or whatever, that they can with impunity threaten or cause harm to our public servants."
According to the probable cause affidavit, Hardy admitted to a friend that he had gotten a gun with the intent of settling a dispute. He told his friend he panicked when Moore pulled him over.
The robbery charge stems from a Dollar General store heist that happened within an hour after Moore was shot.
Hardy was paroled in October 2009 after a 1,000-day sentence for theft and receiving stolen property and was arrested again on Nov. 1, 2010, on charges of theft, receiving stolen property and vehicle theft. He was released from the Marion County Jail on Dec. 21 after posting bond.
Officials said monthly checks had not been made on Hardy and that the parole officer never entered Hardy into the system as a parolee, so jail officials didn't know his status.
There will be a hearing next week to formally inform Hard that the death penalty has been requested.
The Moore family said they know the process will be long, but that they'll be in it from start to finish.
"I'm doing all this for David, because I can't get him back, but I can live on for my son," said Moore's mother, Jo Moore, at Friday's announcement. "We're going to do this."
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