A California police officer who killed a fleeing motorist was convicted of assault on Tuesday, but the jury said that it could not come to a unanimous agreement on the charge of manslaughter.
Contra Costa County Police officer Andrew Hall was convicted of assault with a firearm by a jury on Tuesday following the killing of Laudemer Arboleda, who was fleeing the police in 2018, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
During a police chase with Arboleda, Hall fired 10 rounds into Arboleda’s car after he stepped in front of the moving vehicle. The officer believed Arboleda was going to try to run him over, according to Hall’s attorney.
A mistrial was declared by Judge Terri Mockler on the charge of manslaughter after the jury was split 5-7 on whether he was guilty.
“Deputy Hall’s actions were not only a crime, but they tarnished the badge and they harmed the reputation of all the good, hard working police officers that work for our community,” District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement. “My Office extends our condolences to the family of Mr. Arboleda. With regards to the voluntary manslaughter count, we will take the matter under review to determine the appropriate next steps.”
Sheriff David Livingston, who said Hall was cleared of wrongdoing after an investigation by the department, explained he was disappointed by the decision and urged Becton not to go further with the manslaughter charge.
“We ask our officers to make split-second decisions, and many of the jurors understood that,” Livingston said, according to the Chronicle. “I urge D.A. Becton not to retry this case. I also urge her to take down the posts on her re-election campaign social media where she touts this prosecution.”
Defense attorney Harry Stern stated the jury was split on the manslaughter charge but a majority was in favor of acquittal, according to the local outlet.
“So, clearly the prosecution was a long way from securing a conviction on the top charge,” Stern said.
Stern also stated he will be filing a motion to have a new trial for his client “because there were a number of evidentiary and other rulings that make the assault verdict legally infirm.”
Hall could face up to 17 years in prison for his guilty conviction, with sentencing set on Jan. 14.
The Hill has reached out to Hall’s lawyer for comment.