Former Chicago police officer sentenced in off-duty shooting death of Jose Nieves

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A former Chicago police officer has been sentenced for killing his neighbor during an argument.

Lowell Houser was convicted in the 2017 murder of Jose Nieves, and Monday he heard just how much time he will have to serve.

It was an emotional day for the Nieves family.

"Now our hearts are set free," Nieves' mother Brunilda Torres said, "justice for my son Jose."

Monday, the former Chicago Police Officer convicted of Nieves' murder was sentenced to 10 years for the 2nd Degree murder.

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The I-Team looked into Lowell Houser's background during his tenure as a Chicago police officer.

Houser briefly addressed the court and offered condolences to the Nieves family.

Houser's son, as well as former colleagues, testified about good memories they had with Houser.

Houser's attorney asked for probation, saying it was "a split-second decision he got wrong."

However, Nieves' sister spoke of the pain of losing her brother during her victim's impact statement.

"You destroyed our family. You tore our hearts apart," she said.

"Mr. Houser had a multitude of alternatives that day... Mr. Houser chose possibly the most extreme of those options," Cook County Judge William Gamboney said during the sentencing.

In 2017, Houser made a derogatory comment to Nieves' girlfriend. When Nieves reacted, an argument ensued which ended when Houser shot the 38-year-old Nieves three times.

RELATED: Chicago police officer found guilty of murder in off-duty shooting death of Jose Nieves

The Nieves family said they wanted a longer sentence, but are satisfied with the Judge's decision.

Houser was given credit for his time on electronic monitoring prior to the trial. This particular offense also only carries a 50-percent mandatory prison time. That means Houser may only serve 2 years for the crime.

The Nieves family has also filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Houser and the City of Chicago. That case is still pending.
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