North Miami police Officer Jonathan Aledda testifies in retrial

Officer charged in 2016 shooting of Charles Kinsey

By Sanela Sabovic - Reporter

MIAMI - North Miami police Officer Jonathan Aledda testified Monday in his retrial.

Aledda faces two counts of attempted manslaughter and one count of culpable negligence in the 2016 shooting of mental health therapist Charles Kinsey.

During Monday's closing arguments, prosecutors told the jury Aledda put the lives of Kinsey and his autistic patient, Arnaldo Rios, in danger.

"He shot an unarmed man when he shouldn't have shot at all," assistant state attorney Don Horn said.

Defense attorneys countered that the evidence suggests a shiny object Rios was holding was initially believed to be a gun. It ended up being a silver toy truck.

"His commander -- his superior on the scene -- is saying, 'It looks like he's loading his weapon. It looks like he's loading his gun,'" Aledda's attorney said.

Earlier in the day, Aledda testified that he thought Kinsey's life was in danger and that he was forced to fire at Rios, inadvertently shooting Kinsey instead.

"It appeared that he was screaming for mercy or for help or something," Aledda said.

Prosecutors claim Aledda rushed to judgment and that if he had taken the time to assess the situation, he would have realized there wasn't a gun.

"Sir, if I had waited another minute or two, there would be somebody dead," Aledda said.

Rios, then 26, escaped from the group home where Kinsey worked as his caretaker. Rios ended up sitting in the middle of Northeast 127th Avenue at Northeast 14th Street with a silver toy truck in his hands.

"I did what I had to do to save their life," Aledda testified Monday.

A previous jury acquitted Aledda on another count of culpable negligence but could not reach a verdict on the other three counts.

Jurors could receive jury instructions as early as Monday evening.

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