Former Florida police officer Nouman Raja was found guilty Thursday of fatally shooting 32 -year-old Corey Jones on the side of a highway in October 2015.
Raja was convicted of manslaughter and attempted first-degree carnage. It was the first contest focused on a Florida police officer’s on-duty shooting in practically three decades.
The two-week experiment sought to determine whether the 41 -year-old undercover cop intentionally shot the black musician, who was awaiting roadside succour on Interstate 95, more than three years ago, amid a period of highly publicized police-related shootings.
After the closing arguments Wednesday, the four-man, two-woman jury deliberated for more than four hours, after being granted the option of imprisoning Raja on lesser attacks. He could face life in prison.
A line of officers formed a line between Raja and the court’s gallery as the finding was spoken. Raja was ordered remanded.
Prosecutors argued that on Oct. 18, 2015, the undercover Raja aggressively approached Jones, whose auto broken down at around 3:15 a.m on his route dwelling from a golf-club performance.
” From the time he pulled up, his demeanor and conduct was reckless ,” Assistant State Attorney Adrienne Ellis said in court.” Everything he did, he knew or should have known would have led to the death of Corey Jones .”
Raja was part of an auto-burglary investigative crew and was on patrol in an unmarked auto. He was wearing jeans and a baseball cap when he spotted Jones waiting for a tow truck.
The officer drove the wrong way up the depart ramp and stopped his unmarked vehicle paws from Jones, acting in a” criminally reckless” sort, prosecutors alleged, building the musician believe he was being robbed. As such, when the threatened Jones plucked out his. 38 -caliber handgun–which he had bought just days earlier to protect his $10,000 drum kit–the officer fatally shot him six times.
A medical examiner testified that Jones was killed by a bullet through his nerve.
” I didn’t want to die ,” Raja told allegedly told his police colleagues four hours after security incidents that he claimed was provoked by Jones.
Audio recording played for the jury by prosecutors, however, revealed that Raja never disclosed to Jones that he was a police officer.
In that strip, Raja is listening yelling” You good ?” to which Jones replied in the affirmative. Then the undercover cop replied “Really?” twice before abruptly wailing at Jones to raise his hands. Fires were discovered soon after.
Despite the evidence, the defense indicated the ex-cop acted out of self-defense under the state’s controversial” stand your ground” statute in response to Jones, who had a concealed-weapons let, pulling out his handgun.
” Mr. Jones’ extinction was not the result of any criminal act be carried out by Nouman Raja ,” the cop’s lawyer, Scott Richardson, was indicated in his opening announcements.” It was a perfect cyclone that turned deadly when Mr. Jones pointed that handgun and Mr. Raja, in protecting himself, burnt his handgun .”
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Chris Karpinski, however, testified that there were discrepancies between Raja’s post-incident claims and a recording of Jones’ earlier phone call to a tow-truck send centre. West Palm Beach Circuit Judge Joseph Marx would not permit Karpinski to elaborate.
Shortly after the shooting, the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department fired Raja. In June 2016, he was charged with first-degree assassination with a firearm and is available on house arrest. Raja declined to testify on his own behalf this week.
Last June, the protection was denied his efforts to dismiss service charges under Florida self-defense law after the adjudicator concluded she did not guess Raja was dreadful for his life.
” I’m just happy the evaluate regulated in our advantage ,” Clinton Jones Sr ., Corey’s father, said at the time.” It’s a succour and I’m looking forward to the test .”