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Drunk driver gets three years

Officer Matt Browning.
Officer Matt Browning.

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – A St. Louis police officer who lost his legs when he was hit by a drunk driver says
he's pleased with the judge's sentencing today.

John Mittelbuscher was sentenced to three years in prison. He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault in November.

Officer Matt Browning was on duty in October 2004 when Mittelbuscher plowed into a detective's car that pushed another car into the officer pinning him against a police van and severing his lower legs.

Browning says the sentence will send a message to those who drive drunk.

"It's actually a sterner sentence than I expected," Browning said. "Hopefully with this sentence people will think that could be me; that they're not playing around."

Mittelbuscher apologized to Browning before the sentencing. His attorney, Scott Rosenblum, says Mittelbuscher was prepared for whatever the judge decided, and he hopes to move forward.

"I mean this is obviously a set back in a fine young man's life, but it's not the end," Rosenblum said. "He'll be out of prison soon. He's committed to his family, to his child, he's committed to getting his career back on track, and he's committed to never being the criminal justice system again."

Mittelbuscher could be released on parole after one year.