BARNSTABLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – On Friday, Thomas Latanowich was found guilty of second-degree murder for shooting and killing Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon in 2018.
The jury in Barnstable Superior Court found Latanowich guilty on all of the seven charges against him. These include, but are not limited to, aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and using a firearm in commission of a felony.
The decision came after jurors deliberated for more than three days after receiving the case on Tuesday.
On April 12, 2018, Sgt. Gannon was shot and killed while he and other officers were serving an arrest warrant at a home in Marstons Mills, a village in Barnstable. Gannon’s K-9 partner Nero was also shot during the altercation but survived.
Latanowich took the stand in his own defense on Monday, saying he was hiding in an attic when he shot and killed Gannon because he was afraid, claiming someone had tried to kill him a few weeks prior. Latanowich claimed he did not know the police were entering the attic when he opened fire on Gannon, killing him with a shot to the head.
One prosecutor said Latanowich was not acting in self-defense, referencing text messages and voicemails Latanowich sent just ten minutes after Gannon was shot.
Massachusetts State Police released a statement on Facebook announcing the verdict and sharing their empathy for Gannon’s family.
“We fully understand and agree with Sgt. Gannon's family that the evidence supported a conviction for first-degree murder rather than the second-degree conviction that the jury returned,” the statement read. “We hope those who knew Sean, and whose love for him will always endure, take what comfort they can find in knowing that the violent criminal who killed him and wounded his dog has been held accountable for his despicable and cowardly act.”
Latanowich is sentenced to life in prison and will be eligible for parole in 25 years.
WBZ's Tim Dunn has more: