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Life without possibility of parole in 2006 Officer Corr murder

By WKTV News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WKTV) - A nightmare that began five and a half years ago in a jewelry store in their hometown came to an end Tuesday in a courtroom 50 miles from the scene of the crime, for the Corr family of New Hartford.

It was February 27, 2006 that four men from out of state robbed Lennon's W.B. Wilcox Jewelers in New Hartford. Following the robbery, one of them, Walter Richardson, shot and killed New Hartford Police Officer Joseph Corr after a car chase.

On Tuesday, the three remaining defendants, Marion Pegese, Robert Ward and Toussaint Davis, were sentenced in Federal Court in Syracuse for their roles in the robbery and subsequent murder of Officer Corr. Before they heard their sentences, they heard from several members of the murdered officer's family.

Mother Kathy Corr said she felt as though she was "in my own nightmare" the night her son died. She recalled crying on her deceased son's shoulder. Corr said she rubbed her son's arms and asked hospital staff for an extra blanket because, even though she knew he was dead, he was her child, and he was cold.

Kathy Corr said that when someone asks how many children she has, she freezes up and her mind goes blank. She asked Judge Norman Mordue to sentence her son's killers to the maximum sentence of life in prison without parole, and to place them in prisons as far from their families as possible.

"If we couldn't take their life then we had to take their freedom to live it and that is justice for Joe," said Kathy Corr.

Officer Corr's father, Dave Corr, said that the day was about justice and accountability. He also said that when his son's killers left prison in pine boxes is when they will know true justice and accountability.

"They're human faces, but there's no humanity there. You look at them and they don't care. They don't care about anybody or anything except themselves and their entire careers have shown that," said Dave Corr.

Leslee Leisch was working at Lennon's W.B. Wilcox Jewelers the night of the robbery back in 2006. Defendant Toussaint Davis held his foot on her arm while shouting to another defendant to shoot her in the head. Liesch credits Officer Corr and the first New Hartford officers on the scene of the robbery with saving her life - a life she values more now than ever.

"I guess you just kind of realize that really everything could be gone in a second....I mean, in a matter of moments, everything changes. I mean everything. You lose every sense of security that you have. You don't want to leave the house by yourself, you don't want to go anywhere, you don't want to do anything. Nothing feels safe and it was all because of one, five minute interaction," said Liesch.

The Corr family got their wish. Judge Mordue sentenced Pegese, Ward and Davis to life in prison without parole. The three are also ordered to make more than a million dollars in restitution to Lennon's W.B. Wilcox Jewelers and Ballew Jewelers in Freehold, New Jersey. A federal jury last fall also convicted the defendants of conspiring to rob that store.

The Corr family is grateful that their son's killers got the maximum sentence of life in prison without parole, but say no measure of justice will bring back their son, brother or husband. They say they plan to share the news with their son.

"I can go to Joe's grave now and talk to him and tell him," says Kathy Corr. "They got 'em. They got 'em all. So he can be at peace as we can be at peace, too."

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