Zephyrhills Police officer Kevin Winder speaks about his chase of the Dougherty Gang that began a nationwide manhunt for the fugitives.
ZEPHYRHILLS, Florida - Long before the Dougherty Gang made national headlines for a cross-country crime spree, Zephyrhills police officer Kevin Widner was the one who tried to pull over their white Subaru Impreza for speeding.
Photo Gallery: Pictures of the Dougherty Gang
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Speaking publicly on Monday for the first time since the Doughertys were sentenced last week in Colorado, Widner says the group got what they deserved, with each getting receiving at least 18 years in prison.
"All of them should spend a majority of their life, if not all of it, behind bars, in my opinion," Widner said.
In court, the trio apologized for their actions, specifically singling out police officers.
Widner says he's not sure if that's sincere, or they're just sorry they got caught. But one thing that said in court, he really has a hard time believing.
"I never wanted to hurt anybody," Dylan Dougherty told the judge.
Widner says that's hard to believe, given what he saw from the seat of his patrol car in August, when the group is accused of firing a number of shots at him.
"It was careless disregard for anyone's safety," Widner explained.
The Dougherty trio still face bank robbery charges in Georgia and attempted murder charges in Florida. Widner says he hopes they get maximum sentences in each case.
"So they can hopefully deter anybody from doing anything like this again," he said.