THE BRONX - A former NYPD officer was sentenced Thursday to one to three years behind bars in the shooting death of a Honduran immigrant.

Rafael Lora was convicted in April in the 2007 killing of Fermin Arzu. On May 18, 2007, Arzu crashed his minivan into a parked car outside Lora's home on Longwood Avenue. The defense claimed that Lora shot Arzu in self-defense after the man trapped the off-duty officer with the car door and dragged him.

On Thursday, the emotional Lora read a statement before his sentencing, apologizing for the death of the Honduran immigrant. Arzu's son and daughter, who were present in the courtroom, asked the judge to give the former traffic officer the maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. However, the judge determined that Lora's actions were reckless, but not intentional.

Lora's attorney says he plans to appeal his client's conviction, which may take up to a year. Until then, the former officer will remain free on bail.