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Guilty Plea in Police Captain Death

January 31, 2001 GMT

CARROLLTON, Ga. (AP) _ A man pleaded guilty Wednesday to the shooting death of a police captain during a traffic stop and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Under the plea agreement, the conviction and sentence of Jeffrey McGee can’t be appealed.

McGee, 34, was charged with shooting Villa Rica police Capt. Robbie Bishop in the head on Interstate 20 west of Atlanta on Jan. 20, 1999. Bishop, 35, was found dead next to his patrol car, and McGee’s name was on a warning ticket in the car.

Police believe McGee, of Schenectady, N.Y., drove to Birmingham, Ala., boarded a plane to California and made his way to Canada, where he was arrested in Toronto two weeks later.

``The plea agreement leaves nothing to chance,″ District Attorney Peter Skandalakis said. ``It insures that Mr. McGee is punished for his crime and will never set foot outside of prison.″

Prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty.

Bishop, an ex-Marine, was widely known for intercepting drug shipments on interstate highways. Colleagues said he had hauled in a fortune in drug money and illegal drugs from drivers during his 12-year career. He also taught his techniques to police departments in other states.

Bishop’s mother and wife were in the courtroom when the sentence was announced.

``When this coward Jeffrey McGee killed my son, he killed a man who spent his life trying to make this world a better place for little children growing up in this drug-infested country,″ said Bishop’s mother, Virginia Stanfield. ``Jeffrey McGee took the light out of all of our lives.″

Bishop and his wife, Lisa, had two children, who were 9 and 4 when their father was killed.

Lisa Bishop said she understood the prosecution’s decision to accept a plea, but it ``may not bring closure for my family.″

``Even in prison, Jeffrey McGee has been awarded a luxury that my husband no longer has _ his life,″ she said.