TOMS RIVER - The 20-year-old man convicted of killing a Lakewood police officer last year will soon learn his fate.

Jahmell Crockam is expected to get a life term when he's sentenced today.

Authorities say the fact that Crockam was convicted of murdering Patrolman Christopher Matlosz because he was a police officer, something the jury determined when it convicted him in February, triggers a provision in the law mandating a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Crockam walked up to the officer's police cruiser in January 2011 and shot him three times at point blank range.

A witness in his trial testified Crockam, who had outstanding arrest warrants, vowed he would sooner kill a police officer before he would allow himself to be arrested.

AP wire services contributed to this report.

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