Jurors in the trial of defendant Ramon Bueno determined that they agreed with the aggravating factors presented by the prosecution. The state called on now-retired Arizona State Trooper James Casey to support its argument, and Casey testified that the horrific incident ended his lifelong dream of being a police officer.
#LivePDTrooper – Jury came back and unanimously agreed to the aggravating factors. The actual sentence is now in the judge’s hand. Status conference set for Jan. 9th. pic.twitter.com/XBTv8HVhxt
— Law & Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) December 19, 2019
Jurors convicted Bueno of most charges on Thursday, except for the most serious one. They were deadlocked on the matter of attempted murder in the first-degree. The jury returned guilty verdicts for charges of drive-by shooting, threatening/intimidation, and aggravated assault.
Prosecutors said Casey pulled over a vehicle in a traffic stop. Someone shot him when he was trying to determine the identity of the men in the backseat, he said in testimony. Authorities say that someone was Bueno, the passenger sitting in the backseat behind the driver.
Despite being shot in the head, Casey managed to return to law enforcement work. He later appeared on the A&E show Live PD. (Law&Crime founder Dan Abrams is a host on Live PD. A&E partially owns Law&Crime.)
Casey, who retired in 2018, said he had to finally leave law enforcement work due to the incident. During the aggravation phase on Thursday, Casey detailed the effects of the shooting on his life, and said it took a toll on his family.
“I’ve suffered PTSD,” he said. “When I first got out of the hospital, I would go weeks sleeping for an hour or two–I just could not sleep.”
As he previously mentioned in testimony, he said he could not have an MRI because of bullet fragments remaining in his head. His challenges included difficulty breathing, scars on his face, and prosthetic teeth. He has to be careful with eating sharper foods, like chips, because of the possibility these might puncture a hole–a fistula–in his mouth. He also can’t even chew gum anymore, he said.
“I think the biggest thing for me was, anybody who has known me growing up, I always wanted to be police from the time I was little. And this is not the way I wanted to end my career. I didn’t want to end it at his hands, especially” he said, pointing at Bueno. “I’m glad this is done with.”
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]
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