MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Opening statements got underway Thursday in the retrial of a North Miami police officer accused of the 2016 shooting of the unarmed caretaker of a man with autism.
On Monday, Jonathan Aledda rejected a plea deal that included one-year probation and giving up his law enforcement credential, but no jail time.
Aledda’s first trial in March ended in a hung jury — five of six of jurors wanted to acquit Aledda outright. He was acquitted of one misdemeanor charge of culpable negligence but the jury failed to reach a decision on the other charges including a second-degree negligence charge and two counts of attempted manslaughter.
Aledda insisted he thought Arnaldo Rios Soto was holding a gun when he fired at him in 2016. But the shots struck his caretaker Charles Kinsey in the leg and Rios was not holding a gun but a silver toy truck.
The shooting was caught on cellphone video, which shows Kinsey lying on the ground with his hands in the air.
At his first trial, Aledda testified that he never heard another officer radio that the object was a toy and thought Rios was becoming aggressive. He insisted he thought Kinsey was Rios’ hostage.
Prosecutors argue Aledda should have known Rios was holding a toy, not a weapon.
He fired three shots and one bullet pierced Kinsey’s thigh. Rios was not hurt.
Aledda is the first police officer since 1989 to be prosecuted in Miami-Dade for an on-duty shooting.