Ex-officer gets 25 years for shooting stranded motorist
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida police officer has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a stranded black motorist in 2015.
Judge Joseph Marx sentenced fired Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja on Thursday in the killing of 31-year-old Corey Jones.
Raja was convicted last month of manslaughter and attempted murder in Jones’ death. Marx imposed a sentence of 25 years on each count, to be served concurrently.
The 41-year-old officer was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked van when he confronted Jones, a black drummer whose SUV had broken down as he returned from a late-night performance.
Prosecutors persuaded jurors that Raja never identified himself as a police officer and acted aggressively, causing Jones to pull his legal handgun thinking he was being robbed. The altercation was audio recorded by a tow-truck dispatcher Jones had been talking with.
Raja appeared in shackles and a dark blue jail jumpsuit. The courtroom was packed with supporters of both men and guarded by about 20 sheriff’s deputies.