A Los Angeles cop was sentenced to three years in prison today after assaulting a woman during an arrest who later died. Mary O'Callaghan, 50, was seen on video jabbing at the throat of 35-year-old Alesia Thomas and striking her inside a patrol car before Thomas lost consciousness, reports the Guardian. Though O'Callaghan did not testify at her trial, the LA Times reports that she turned to Thomas' mother in court today and said, "Mother to mother, I am extremely sorry." Sandra Thomas then asked the judge if they could hug, but he denied the request.
Because part of her sentence was suspended, O'Callaghan could be out in four and a half months with good behavior. She wasn't convicted of killing Thomas but of "assault under color of authority." The coroner says that cocaine was probably a "major factor" in the death of Thomas, who could be seen struggling to breathe inside the car. She asked police to call an ambulance, but they didn't do so for 30 minutes. In another video, O’Callaghan is seen smoking a cigarette outside the patrol car as she looks inside at Thomas. “This ain’t a good sign,” she said. (Read more LAPD stories.)