MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami jury took a few hours to find North Miami police officer Jonathan Aledda guilty of a lesser charge of culpable negligence in the shooting of an unarmed caretaker.
The jury also returned a verdict of not guilty on count one and count two of attempted manslaughter, which were felony charges.
Aledda faces up to a year in prison for the misdemeanor. He and his attorneys will be back in court for the sentencing phase of the trial.
“Since 7/18/06, our community has been traumatized by No. Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda’s shooting of mental health therapist Charles Kinsey. Tonight, a jury decided that the crime of Culpable Negligence had been committed,” said in a tweet, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, State Attorney for Miami-Dade County.
The jury ordered dinner and went into deliberations at 6:45 p.m. By 9:30 p.m., they had reached a verdict.
In July 2016, Aledda responded to a call of a possible suicidal man. When he arrived two men were in the middle of the street.
One was an autistic man named Arnaldo Rios Soto. The other man was his caretaker, Charles Kinsey.
Aledda said he believed Soto was threatening Kinsey with a gun.
Aledda fired hitting Kinsey in the leg, but missing the autistic man.
“I believed it was a hostage situation,” Aledda said. “It appeared he was screaming for mercy or for help or something. In my mind, the white male had a gun.”
It turned out to be a silver toy truck.
“I couldn’t hear what the black man was saying. In my mind, I thought he might get shot,” Aledda testified Monday.
Aledda previously 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 on the most serious charges but the jury acquitted him of one count of culpable negligence.
The controversial shooting was caught on cellphone video and caused an uproar at the time. It shows Kinsey lying on the ground with both his hands in the air in a ‘surrender’ pose.
At his first trial, Aledda testified he never heard another officer radio that the object was a toy and thought Rios was becoming aggressive.
Prosecutors argue Aledda should have known Rios was holding a toy, not a weapon.
“Isn’t it true if you hadn’t missed that blood in the street would be Arnaldo’s,” said the assistant prosecutor
Aledda is the first police officer since 1989 to be prosecuted in Miami-Dade for an on-duty shooting.