A judge today sentenced a San Francisco man to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of a police officer he struck and killed during a car chase in 2006. Officer Nick-Tomasito Birco, 39, was in his patrol car when he was hit by a van driven by Steven Petrilli on July 26, 2006. Petrilli and two other men had committed four robberies in the city that night and were fleeing from police, according to prosecutors. The crash happened at about 1 a.m. at Cambridge and Felton streets during a high-speed chase in which prosecutors said Petrilli ran about 20 stop signs at speeds of over 50 mph. Petrilli, 24, was convicted by a jury on Sept. 23, 2010, of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery, evading police and gross vehicular manslaughter.
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