Former cop Nouman Raja is set to be sentenced Thursday in Palm Beach County, Florida for the shooting death of reggae drummer Corey Jones. Court is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m Eastern Time.
In March, jurors found Raja guilty of manslaughter while armed with a firearm, and attempted first-degree murder. Jones’ vehicle was having problems after a show early in the morning of Oct. 18, 2015. A friend and road ranger tried helping, but it didn’t work, prosecutors said. They left, while Jones stayed behind because he didn’t want to leave his drum set behind.
Raja — a plainclothes officer in an unmarked vehicle investigating auto burglaries in the area — stopped by and confronted Jones while the victim was on the phone with AT&T roadside assistance. Prosecutors said Raja never identified himself as a cop.
“Get your fucking hands up!” he said. “Get your fucking hands up!” Audio of the incident was recorded from Jones’ conversation with roadside assistance.
Assistant State Attorney Adrienne Ellis told jurors that there’s no evidence Jones acted combative, and he was in no position to know that Raja was an officer. It was the defendant who escalated the situation, not the victim. She said Raja hunted Jones “down like a deer.”
Defense lawyer Richard Lubin called the shooting a “terrible tragedy,” but insisted that Jones pointed a silver handgun at Raja. The defendant had no choice but to shoot. This was self-defense. Prosecutors said the victim’s firearm was on safety, and was never fired.
“Nouman Raja should spend the rest of his life in prison…At least he will have the opportunity to simply wake up everyday. Corey Jones wlll never have the opportunity to do anything ever again,”#CoreyJones‘ uncle Marc Johnson said in a letter to the judge. @WPBF25News pic.twitter.com/EggziOl8qe
— Terace Garnier (@TeraceGarnier) April 24, 2019
[Screengrab via WPTV]