Officer's Family: Facing Him was "Horrible" - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Officer's Family: Facing Him was "Horrible"

Teen accused in Officer Nazario's death will be tried as adult.

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    Police officer Izabel Nazario was killed in September when her police cruiser was broadsided by a driver of a stolen SUV.

    The mother and sister of Philadelphia police officer Isabel Nazario were in court Wednesday to face the teen accused in her death.

    It was anything but easy.

    It was "horrible" seeing him face to face, said Maritza Mohamad, Nazario's sister.

    Mohamad could not hold back inside the courtroom. She cheered when 16-year old Andre Butler was held over for trial as an adult, despite pleas that Butler was not acting with malice.

    Teen Will Be Tried as Adult in the Death of Officer Isabel Nazario

    [PHI] Teen Will Be Tried as Adult in the Death of Officer Isabel Nazario
    Despite arguments that Andre Butler did not act with malice, the 16 year old will stand trial as an adult in the death of Philadelphia police officer Isabel Nazario.
    (Published Wednesday, July 22, 2009)

    Butler was behind the wheel of the stolen SUV that slammed into Officer Nazario's cruiser, killing her and injuring her partner.

    Nazario died from severe multiple trauma, including 9 broken ribs. That came out in court as the prosecutor John Doyle described the devastating impact of the accident.  Doyle said Butler was going 70 miles an hour, had no license, went through every red light and stop sign trying to evade officers in a pursuit he knew would send him back to juvenile detention on a prior case.

    The crash happened in September in West Philadelphia back in September. Butler's attorney said the teen was a child, who was afraid and did not act with malice, even though he fled the accident scene. Attorney Willie Lee Nattiel said if Nazario had not been a police officer, it wouldn't even be a murder case; it would be a "homicide by vehicle" charge instead.

    Nazario was an 18-year veteran of the force. 

    Butler faces up to 88 years in prison if a jury convicts him on that third degree murder charge.