20-66 years for man who bought gun that killed officer

Bradley Fox , a Plymouth Township K-9 officer, was shot fatally last September.
Bradley Fox , a Plymouth Township K-9 officer, was shot fatally last September.
Posted: August 17, 2013

After family members and colleagues testified about their loss, the man who bought the gun used to kill Plymouth Township Police Officer Bradley Fox was sentenced Thursday in Montgomery County Court.

Judge Joseph A. Smythe ordered Michael J. Henry, 31, of Philadelphia, to serve 20 to 66 years in prison for selling a gun to Andrew C. Thomas.

Thomas, an ex-convict, could not legally purchase a gun. So he paid Henry to buy him nine firearms, including a 9mm Beretta.

In September, Thomas, 44, used that Beretta to kill Fox after the 34-year-old K-9 officer pursued him on foot into a hilly area near the Schuylkill River Trail. Thomas then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.

The practice of a person who legally can buy a firearm purchasing one for a felon is called a straw purchase.

Henry pleaded guilty in March to 23 counts involving straw purchases. He is being held in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility until he is transferred to a state prison, said his public defender, Craig Hosay.

Hosay said his client was remorseful about his actions and what they led to "from Day One."

Witnesses called during the four-hour hearing included Fox's wife, brother, and parents, and Police Chief Joseph Lawrence. They spoke about the pain that Fox's death caused to themselves and the community.

Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele said he hoped "the sentence of 20 to 66 years in state prison sends a strong message that buying a gun for a convicted felon will carry serious consequences in Montgomery County."

The 2012 state law tightening sentences for straw purchasers is known as the Brad Fox Law.


Contact Carolyn Davis at 610-313-8109, cdavis@phillynews.com, or @carolyntweets on Twitter.

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