A former NYPD detective who was caught lying when a murder suspect recorded the cop questioning him on an MP3 player was sentenced to four months in in jail. Christopher Perino has already lost his job, pension and health benefits, estimated to be worth $3 million, after being convicted for perjury. Perino had claimed to have never questioned 17-year-old attempted murder suspect Erik Crespo during Crespo's trial, only to have the teenager break out the hour-long grilling he had stored on file.
The prosecution and defense saved some of their most dramatic flare for arguing over what Perino's sentencing should be. Perino's lawyer presented over 300 letters of support, including many from cops, as well as quoted from the Bible in pleading that his client not serve any time for what he claims to be a memory lapse. Meanwhile Assistant DA Larry Hartstein wanted Perino to serve 1 to 3 years and said, "This defendant disgraced his badge and violated his oath of office...By his own actions he has tainted the acts of every member of the police force." The head of the Detectives' Endowment Association, called Hartstein "mean-spirited" and a "jerk."
The judge in the case was lenient with Perino, but still felt the ex-cop should do time, saying, "It was directly due to (Perino’s) perjury that the trial fell apart, and Crespo got the benefit." The former detective will also receive five years probation. Perino will remain free on $15,000 personal recognizance bond pending his appeal.