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Brian Fitch will spend rest of his life behind bars for killing Officer Scott Patrick

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Brian Fitch Sr. will spend the rest of his life in prison with no possibility of release for the murder of Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick last year.

The sentence of life without parole was confirmed at Dakota County Courthouse in Hastings Wednesday morning following an hour-long hearing, during which Fitch addressed the court maintaining his innocence.

The courtroom was packed with representatives of law enforcement agencies, as well as Fitch's mother, the first time one of his family members has made an appearance since court proceedings began, according to FOX 9's Paul Blume.

Jurors at Stearns County District Court took nine hours on Monday to find Fitch guilty of first-degree murder in last summer's shooting.

The 40-year-old faced nine criminal counts, including attempted murder and felony gun possession, and was convicted on all of them.

Family: Justice is done

Patrick was fatally shot by Fitch during a traffic stop in Mendota Heights on July 30, 2014. Fitch then fired at police in the ensuing manhunt, and was shot eight times by officers during a standoff in St. Paul.

Thousands of people turned out to mourn for Patrick at his funeral. The 19-year veteran of the Mendota Heights police force died after being shot in the leg, abdomen and head.

He was the longest-serving member in the Mendota Heights force and the only one of its officers to die in the line of duty, the Star Tribune reports.

Following Monday's verdict, Patrick's brother Mike Brue told KARE 11: "Today we found justice, but it can never be complete. Brian George Fitch, Sr. essentially was condemned to an abyss of his own making and now, he'll spend his life in that abyss."

Patrick's wife Michelle was more contemplative, telling the Star Tribune: "God bless Fitch. I hope he can come to a realization of what he has done.

"He has taken so much from us. He didn’t need to. I just want to bless him and hope that he realizes what he has done. Amen to him."

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