OKLAHOMA CITY -- Dozens of Oklahoma City police officers packed an Oklahoma County courtroom during a preliminary hearing for three men accused of attacking one of their own.
Joshua Rinken, Cadmio Lopez, and Jimmy Smith are charged with one count each of maiming and conspiracy. Prosecutors say they beat Officer Chad Peery when he tried to step in and break up a bar fight a Dan O'Brien's restaurant in February.
Officer Peery was paralyzed in the attack.
"The effort that he's putting into his rehabilitation has been very inspirational for those of us who have followed along this process, this journey that he's going through. He has a long way to go, but he's got the right determination to be successful at it," said Oklahoma City Police Maj. Jeff Becker.
The orthopedic surgeon who operated on Peery testified during Tuesday's hearing that Peery's injuries that he incurred during the attack were similar to that of a head-on collision.
"It's tough to see someone that you care about go through something like this," Becker said.
The maximum sentence for each suspect if convicted would be 17 years in prison.