1 of 3 | NYPD officers and FDNY firemen collect evidence around The Home Depot truck used kill eight people and injure more than a dozen others In Lower Manhattan on Oct. 31, 2017, in New York City. On Wednesday, Sayfullo Saipov was sentenced to life in prison for the terrorist attack. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
May 18 (UPI) -- A 35-year-old man convicted of using a truck to kill eight people on a Manhattan bike path in a 2017 Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.
The man, Uzbekistan national Sayfullo Saipov, was sentenced on Wednesday by Judge Vernon Broderick to consecutively serve eight life sentences, 260 years in prison and two additional life sentences that are to run concurrently.
"These eight life sentences account for the eight lives Saipov stole when he committed his vicious ISIS attack. The 260 years in prison constitutes the maximum penalty for the 18 attempted murders Saipov cruelly committed, which included the attempted murders of four children," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York said in a statement after Saipov's sentence was handed down.
During sentencing, more than 20 victims and family members addressed the court and Saipov, with Williams describing them as having "bravely and boldly shared their pain and devastation."
"While we cannot make these victims whole after what Saipov stole from them, this office along with our partners in the Department of Justice and the FBI are proud to have served the victims and sought justice on their behalf."
Saipov also spoke in the Manhattan courtroom prior to being sentenced, CNN reported. For nearly an hour he talked of the history of Islam and of his crimes, offering no contrition or exhibiting remorse for the suffering he has caused.
"It is very surprising that if one Mujahid kills one unbeliever anywhere that we will be talking about that crime for months and months, but at the same time they do not talk about anything, about any of those innocent Muslims dying in different places by thousands," he said.
Broderick told the court Wednesday that the case was among the worst he had ever seen, "both in terms of the impact it had on these victims and the sheer unrepentant nature of the defendant," The New York Times reported.
Saipov was convicted Jan. 26 by a jury on 28 counts charging him with, among other crimes, murder for the purpose of gaining entrance to a racketeering enterprise, which in this case was ISIS. On March 13, it was learned that he would be sentenced to life in prison as the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on sentencing him to death.
His crime was committed on the afternoon of Oct. 31, 2017, when he drove a 6,000-pound truck down Lower Manhattan's Hudson River Bike Path, killing eight people and injuring many others.
The Justice Department said that those who survived the attack suffered amputations as well as brain and other life-altering injuries.
Prosecutors said that he had planned the attack over months following years of devotion to ISIS. They said he rented a truck to practice trying to hit as many people as possible.
"Today's sentence means that Sayfullo Saipov will spend the rest of his life in federal prison for brutally murdering eight innocent victims during his carefully calculated ISIS terrorist attack," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.
"The Department of Justice honors the victims, their families and the survivors of this horrific attack. We will continue to vigorously defend the American people from threats of terrorism and will work tirelessly to bring those who perpetrate terrorist attacks to justice."