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The Latest: Prosecutors approve of ex-cop’s guilty verdict

March 7, 2019
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Nouman Raja watches as Chief Assistant State Attorney Adrienne Ellis gives her closing arguments during his trial Wednesday, March 6, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Fla. Raja, a former Palm Beach Gardens police officer, is charged with the fatal 2015 shooting of stranded motorist Corey Jones. (Lannis Waters/Palm Beach Post via AP, Pool)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a fired Florida police officer in the shooting of a stranded black motorist (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

Prosecutors say they are pleased with the guilty verdict in the trial of a fired Florida police officer who killed a stranded black motorist.

State Attorney Dave Aronberg said Thursday that the four-man, two-woman jury “took time out of their busy lives” to hear the case against former Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja. They found the 41-year-old Raja guilty Thursday of manslaughter and attempted murder for the 2015 death of Corey Jones. He faces a sentence of between 25 years and life. Aronberg declined to comment on the specifics of the case until the April 26 sentencing.

Raja was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked white van when he drove the wrong way up a darkened ramp to Jones’ stalled SUV. Prosecutors said an audio recording showed Raja never identified himself and approached Jones aggressively, making him believe he was being robbed.

They say that caused Jones to pull his legally possessed handgun. Raja then shot him repeatedly. 

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10:30 a.m.

The brother of a slain stranded motorist said he is grateful that a jury convicted a fired police officer of the 2015 killing.

Former National Football League player C.J. Jones said Thursday’s verdict finding former Palm Beach officer Nouman Raja guilty of killing 31-year-old Corey Jones shows justice was served.

Raja was found guilty of manslaughter and attempted first-degree murder and now faces a sentence of between 25 years and life. 

Raja was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked white van when he drove the wrong way up a darkened off ramp to Jones’ stalled SUV. Prosecutors said an audio recording showed Raja never identified himself and approached Jones aggressively, making him believe he was being robbed.

They say that caused Jones to pull his legally possessed handgun. Raja then shot him repeatedly. 

C.J. Jones played wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns in 2003 and 2004 and later briefly played for New England, Seattle and Kansas City. He played for Iowa in college.

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9:15 a.m.

A fired Florida police officer has been found guilty as charged of manslaughter and attempted murder in the fatal shooting of a stranded black motorist. Nouman Raja is the first officer in the state to be convicted of an on-duty shooting in 30 years.

A Palm Beach County jury found Raja guilty on Thursday of the October 2015 shooting of 31-year-old Corey Jones. Raja now faces up to life in prison when he’s sentenced.

Raja was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked white van when he drove the wrong way up a darkened off ramp to Jones’ stalled SUV. Prosecutors said an audio recording showed Raja never identified himself and approached Jones aggressively, making him believe he was being robbed. They say that caused Jones to pull his legally possessed handgun. Raja then shot him repeatedly.

Raja’s attorneys had said he identified himself and justifiably shot Jones because he feared for his life. Raja is of South Asian descent.

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1:09 a.m.

Jury deliberations are headed into their second day in the trial of a fired Florida police officer charged with killing a stranded black motorist.

The jurors will return to Palm Beach County courthouse Thursday to resume deliberating the fate of Nouman Raja. The 41-year-old former Palm Beach Gardens officer is charged with manslaughter and attempted murder for the 2015 shooting of 31-year-old Corey Jones.

Raja, who is of South Asian descent, was in plain clothes when he drove an unmarked van up to Jones’ SUV, which had broken down on a highway off ramp before dawn.

Prosecutors say an audio recording shows Raja never identified himself, making Jones believe he was being robbed. They say that caused Jones to pull his legally possessed handgun. Raja shot him.

His attorneys say the shooting was justified.