WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — For the first time in 30 years, a Florida police officer has been convicted of an on-duty shooting.
Investigators said the officer killed a stranded driver on an I-95 off-ramp in 2015.
The victim's father got emotional as he talked about the justice the family was looking for.
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Prosecutors said the former officer Nouman Raja was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked white van when he drove the wrong way up a darkened ramp to Corey Jones' stalled SUV, which he thought was abandoned.
Raja is now facing significant prison time.
Jones' family said this was the justice they were hoping for.
About 25 relatives and supporters of Jones looked on, some weeping quietly, Thursday in court.
Prosecutors said an audio recording shows Raja never identified himself as a police officer, which made Jones believe he was being robbed.
The former Palm Beach Gardens police officer showed no emotion while learning his fate in court.
Raja was found guilty of manslaughter and attempted murder in the shooting death of Jones.
"It was the truth that gave us justice for Cory," his father Clinton Jones Sr. said.
The Jones family, overcome with emotion, formed a prayer circle outside the courtroom, calling the verdict closure.
According to his family, the church drummer had just performed with a local band when his car broke down.
Raja, at the time, was working undercover and was not in uniform and in an unmarked car.
Prosecutors said Raja never identified himself as an officer and they believe Jones pulled his legally owned gun, mistaking Raja for a carjacker.
The defense had maintained Raja did identify himself and opened fire, fearing for his life.
Raja is scheduled to be sentenced next month and faces a minimum of 25 years to life in prison.
Cox Media Group