Photo credit: Indianapolis Police Department
INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indianapolis man has pleaded guilty to murdering Indianapolis police Officer David Moore, setting up a likely sentence of life without parole.
Thomas Hardy, 61, entered the guilty plea Wednesday morning to charges of murder, robbery with a deadly weapon and possession of a handgun by a serious violent felon.
The plea agreement calls for a sentence for life without parole, plus 40 years.
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, who had sought the death penalty in the case, said the impetus to accept the plea came from Moore's parents, Spencer and Jo Moore.
“When pursuing any homicide case, we give significant consideration to the opinions and the wishes of the victim’s family,” Curry said. “In making the decision to accept Hardy’s plea, I believe the wishes of the Moore family for finality and certainty trump all other considerations. With grace and dignity, Jo and Spencer Moore have allowed us to grieve the devastating loss of their son with them. Any amount of peace of mind we can give them, we will.”
Following the hearing, the Moores said they consider the plea deal a chance to show compassion in an effort to honor their son's legacy.
"The fact that (Hardy) asked for compassion and we were able to, through Prosecutor Curry's staff, provide it, means we may be on a path to healing all the wounds," Spencer Moore said.
"It ensures healing for my family, the department and the city of Indianapolis," Jo Moore said. "Everyone has shared our sorrow. It's hard to be a survivor. I'm just proud we're coming out of this the best we can."
But the couple stopped short of saying they've forgiven the man accused of killing their son.
"I think forgiveness is a little strong. We have compassion for him, and we're working toward forgiveness," Spencer Moore said.
Moore, 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 on Jan. 23, 2011. He died days later.
As part of the plea agreement, Hardy will acknowledge that he intentionally killed Moore. Hardy's attorney said he is remorseful.
"Part of his life sentence is going to involve the fact that every day for the rest of his life, he is going to think about what he did -- what he did to the Moore family, what he did to David Moore," said attorney Monica Foster.
Hardy has an extensive criminal background and had been released from the Marion County Jail a month before Moore's shooting.
Hardy will be sentenced April 5.
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