EL PASO (July 30, 2014) Antonio Gonzalez, 19, was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison for the beating death of El Paso police Officer Jonathan Molina in 2012.
He could have been sentenced to as much as 99 years after he was convicted Tuesday of murder.
Molina was off duty when he confronted Gonzales and two others who were vandalizing his personal car and told them he was an officer.
Gonzalez punched him and pulled his legs out from under him, prosecutors said.
Gonzalez punched Molina again after he fell, they said.
Molina died nine days later of a severe brain injury.
Gonzalez's attorney says the teenager was acting in self-defense because he thought his friend was in danger.