Pleasant Valley officer shot in face is on hand when judge sentences shooter to 100 years in prison

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LIBERTY, Mo. -- Omar Maria was sentenced to 100 years in prison on Wednesday for shooting Pleasant Valley Police Officer Jacob Baldwin in the face.

The shooting happened in December of 2014 near the I-35, I-435 interchange during a traffic stop. Before Ofc. Baldwin could get out of his cruiser, Maria stepped out of his car and fired eight shots at him, then sped away. One bullet grazed Baldwin’s chin, another went into his head, just under his eye.

"It was a bad day," Ofc. Baldwin said after the sentencing. "I always tell people it was the most unlucky time of my life and also the luckiest time of my life because any difference and that bullet could have killed me. I was very lucky and I think God was definitely watching over me."

His mother testified during Maria’s sentencing hearing about the terrifying night she was woken up to the news that her son had been shot in the face.

"I fell to my knees in the kitchen and I just prayed that God wouldn't let him die and he saved him, said Joyce Wagner. “Not only for us but for his daughter Leah."

Leah Baldwin, now 9 years old, happily skipped out of court next to her dad, and is the reason the officer says he fought so hard to survive.

"Right when I was shot I had a ton of blood coming out, and that's all I was thinking about, you know. This guy's not going to kill me, I am going to survive to get home and see my daughter,” said Baldwin.

At 33 years old, Maria will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. It is a sentence the Clay County judge said will be a deterrent for others who may think about shooting a police officer.

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