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Convicted killer receives life in prison for TN policeman's death

(PHOTO: WBIR)

Brian K. Stalans will spend life in prison for killing Maryville police officer Kenny Moats in August 2016.

Stalans pleaded guilty to premeditated murder of a police officer and five other charges during a hearing at the Blount County Justice Center Monday morning, according to reports from our sister station from WBIR in Knoxville.

He received a sentence of life without parole plus an additional 56 years.

Moats' mother, Lisa Burns, made an emotional victim impact statement, saying "never will my life be the same."

"Every breathe that I take I think of my son, who no longer can breathe," Burns described.

During her nearly five minute statement, Burns went into detail about the day of her son's murder and how she spoke to Kenny that morning and told him to be careful and that she loved him. She explain that she went on with her day, never suspecting her life was about to come to a screeching halt.

"Every fear that I had soon would become an absolute nightmare that I will never awaken from," she explained.

"The look in my grandkids' eye when they learned that their daddy's day, the look of hurt, the look of fear and disbelief," Burns described. "How do you comfort children when they fall to the ground because the world that they knew has been turned upside down?"

Moats' mother also talked about her son's love for Shop with a Cop and how he spent hours trying to raise funds to support the wonderful effort.

She also described her son's murder as "the senseless act of a coward" and explained how her heart aches every minute of every day.

"I will forever be relentless in making sure my son Kenny Ray Moats will never be forgotten. Nor his principals that he lived by each and every day of his life. His legacy will live on. And remember this, love conquers all."

One of the prosecutors read a letter written by Moats' wife, Brittany, into the record. Officials also read a statement by Moats' father, Kenneth Moats Sr.

Stalans asked to make a statement before his sentencing, saying he has been "redeemed by God," and thanking God for being with him in his cell.

"I understand more than you know the damage that was done to two families. Nothing I can say will make it right," Stalans said.

"On Aug. 25 and the days before I was a spiritually lost and broken person. Dependent on alcohol and other things," he said. "Because of those actions we lost a police officer. Because of my actions. There is nothing else I can say. This is the only thing I can do to make some sense out of what tragedy has happened."

Judge Tammy Harrington sentenced Stalans to the custody of the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

""This community might be changed forever but we will continue to do our duties in a fair and just manner," she said. "Officer Moats is gone and Mr. Stalans you will spend the rest of your lift incarcerated."

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