North Miami police officer not guilty on lesser charge; jury hung on others

Officer Jonathan Aledda acquitted on 1 count of culpable negligence

MIAMI – A North Miami police officer on trial in the 2016 shooting of an unarmed man has been found not guilty on one count of culpable neglience, but the jury remains hung on the more serious charges of attempted manslaughter.

Officer Jonathan Aledda was charged with two counts of attempted manslaughter and two counts of culpable negligence in the 2016 shooting of Charles Kinsey.

Jurors returned to deliberate Friday, but they couldn't decide on both counts of attempted manslaughter and one count of culpable negligence. 

They asked to re-watch three videos that showed Kinsey on the ground prior to the shooting and also asked to rehear part of Aledda's testimony, in which he talked about what he did after the shooting.

Authorities said Kinsey, a mental health therapist, was shot in the leg as he sat on the ground with his hands up next to his autistic patient, Arnaldo Rios, who was playing with a silver toy truck, which a 911 caller thought was a gun.

The count for which jurors returned the not guilty verdict pertains to culpable negligence for shooting Rios.

Aledda, 32, testified Wednesday that Rios "was moving around the whole time" and pointed the toy, which Aledda also believed was a gun, in the direction of another officer before turning around and pointing it at Kinsey. 

He said he fired at that time, believing Rios was going to shoot Kinsey. 

Authorities said Aledda fired three shots at Rios, but missed and struck Kinsey once in the leg. 

"We're disappointed with the overall verdict," defense attorney Douglas Hartman said.

But, Hartman added, jurors were 5-1 for acquittal on the other three counts.

"The difficulties posed by this case are clearly represented by the jury's inability to come to a verdict on three of the four charges offenses," Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "We are grateful to each of the jurors for their thoughtful evaluation of all the evidence and thank Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Alan Fine for his professionalism in the handling of this case."

Rundle said she will be meeting with her prosecutors "to determine the appropriate course of action as to the unresolved counts."

Aledda left court without speaking to reporters.

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