A jury has found a North Miami Police officer accused of shooting an unarmed man in 2016 not guilty on one count and says they're hung on three other counts.
The jury returned the decision Friday in the trial of Officer Jonathan Aledda, who was charged with two felony counts of attempted manslaughter and two misdemeanor charges of culpable negligence in the July 2016 shooting of Charles Kinsey.
"We're disappointed with the overall verdict but anytime he’s acquitted on the only count that they reached a unanimous verdict on and they were 5 to 1 on acquittal for the other three," defense attorney Douglas Hartman said. "I think he’s disappointed. He was hoping to be acquitted, to go home to his wife and baby."
Aledda was found not guilty on one of the culpable negligence counts, but said they were hung on the other three. The judge said a hearing will be held on March 27th to determine how they'll proceed on the three charges.
"The difficulties posed by this case are clearly represented by the jury’s inability to come to a verdict on three of the four charged offenses," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "My prosecution team and I will be discussing the case to determine the appropriate course of action as to the unresolved counts."
Prosecutors say Kinsey, a behavior therapist, was lying on the ground with his hands up when Aledda and other officers responded to the scene. Next to him was Arnaldo Rios Soto, a man with severe autism, who was in Kinsey’s care.
Officers had responded to the area along 127th Street near Northeast 14th Avenue after getting a call of a man with a gun. It turned out to be Soto holding a silver toy truck.
Aledda testified earlier this week that he thought the object Soto was holding was a gun.
"It appeared it could be a gun as described on dispatch, it was a silver object that reflected in the sun," Aledda testified. "I thought it was a gun."
Prosecutors say Aledda fired three shots at Kinsey, hitting him once in the thigh. Kinsey recovered from the wound and is suing North Miami for the officer’s use of force. Aledda, who was a four-year veteran and on the city’s SWAT team, pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges he faces and was on leave from the department.