- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

EASTON, Pa. (AP) - A man was convicted Friday of conspiracy to help a felon get an AK-47 used to kill a Berks County sheriff’s deputy, but the jury acquitted him of actually providing the weapon.

The Northampton County jury found Jared Engleman, 28, of Kutztown, guilty of conspiracy to help a felon get a firearm but not guilty of illegally transferring the assault rifle to felon Matthew Connor, whom authorities say shot and killed 28-year-old Deputy Sheriff Kyle Pagerly.

Engleman’s sentencing date has not yet been set.

Connor, 25, was killed during the June 2011 exchange of gunfire as authorities tried to arrest him at his home on burglary and weapons charges.

Connor’s father, Maurice Connor, pleaded no contest Wednesday to illegally providing the gun to his son.

At his trial, Engleman testified that he bought the weapon in October 2004 and sold it more than a year later to Connor’s father.

Defense attorney Patrick Reilly said no evidence was presented to prove that Engleman sold a weapon to the younger Connor or knew Matthew Connor wasn’t allowed to possess firearms. Also, Reilly said Engleman’s statements to police were consistent. “That firearm was sold to Maurice Connor,” Reilly said.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Thren argued that the younger men went to school together and were friends, so it was more likely that Engleman sold the gun to the son knowing that he wasn’t allowed to have a weapon.

“If you’re going to sell this thing to somebody, shouldn’t you make sure they’re not off their rocker,” he said, holding up the rifle. Authorities say Matthew Connor also had mental health issues.

Proceedings in the case against Engleman and Maurice Connor were moved from Berks County following a mistrial in Connor’s first trial last fall after a judge learned that jury members had learned the charges were connected to Pagerly’s death.

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