AKRON, Ohio — The man convicted of killing Akron police Officer Justin Winebrenner choked up while apologizing in court Friday.
Kenan Ivery, 36, spoke during his sentencing hearing Friday. A jury must still decide if Ivery should face the death penalty or life in prison in the case.
His entire statement is as follows:
“First off I would like to apologize to the Winebrenner family and friends. Something I have been wanting to say since this situation first happened and the lawyers told me it wasn’t appropriate at the time. My condolences goes out to you guys. My family feels the same way. It’s coming from my heart. In 2011 I lost a brother so I know the pain and the hurt that you are going through right now and I have been praying that God would touch your hearts to help you get through this tragedy. I know you all probably hate me, never going to forgive me but I understand that…but from the bottom of my heart I am sorry. I’d like to apologize to my family…for going through this with me. I know this has affected many lives and I’m sorry. I’d like to say something to the jurors, I’m not a saint, as you know….but I’m here today not asking for my freedom, I’m here today asking for my life. Please, please. and I apologize to the courts also. I know Mr. Baumoel, you have a job to do. I’m not a monster… I’m sorry about this whole thing….this ain’t me. I think about it every day…to all the victims….I’m sorry. That’s coming from my heart.”
Last week, a Summit County grand jury convicted Ivery of charges including aggravated murder, attempted murder and felonious assault for the November 2014 shooting at Papa Don’s Pub in Akron.
Prosecutors said Ivery was asked to leave Papa Don’s Pub in Akron, but returned with a gun. Winebrenner, 32, who was off-duty, tried to defuse the situation, but suffered two gunshot wounds. Four others were injured in the gunfire.
Ivery claimed he acted in self defense.
After the prosecution rested its argument in the penalty phase, defense attorneys started calling family members of Ivery.
Thursday, Ivery’s father and younger sister testified in the sentencing hearing.
Today, jurors also heard from psychologists before deliberating.