- Associated Press - Friday, April 12, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A jury found a 38-year-old man guilty of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of an Albuquerque police officer on Friday - more than three years after the killing sent shockwaves through New Mexico’s largest city.

The jury returned its verdict against Davon Lymon after a more than two-week-long trial in which attorneys showed police lapel video of the moment Officer Daniel Webster attempted to handcuff Lymon to a motorcycle and was shot.

Prosecutors argued Lymon - whose prior convictions include manslaughter, fraud and forgery - had made “a deliberate and conscious choice” to take Webster’s life because he was a felon in possession of a firearm and did not want to return to prison. The traffic stop in a pharmacy parking lot in October 2015 had lasted barely more than a minute before shots were fired.

The officer’s widow, Michelle, responded tearfully to the verdict as she was embraced by others in the courtroom. The jury deliberated for about two hours before finding Lymon guilty on the murder count and other related crimes, including tampering with evidence.

“This is a bittersweet day for the APD family,” Chief Michael Geier said. “We are relieved that justice has been served and Davon Lymon will be held accountable for his actions. But this verdict does not bring back Daniel Webster to his wife, Michelle, or to his brothers and sisters at APD.”

Webster, 47, was a highly decorated officer and former Army Ranger.

Prosecutor Clara Moran said he was shot at by Lymon six times as he ran for cover. Police said Lymon ran to a shed in a nearby neighborhood where he was holed up when SWAT officers, including a K-9 unit, found him and took him into custody.

Lymon’s attorney had scrutinized Webster’s handling of the traffic stop, arguing that some of his actions had led his client to fear for his life and open fire.

Lymon recalled from the witness stand that he thought he heard Webster say six more officers were on their way to put him “in the ground.” In Webster’s lapel video, the officer says that they were going to put Lymon “on the ground.”

Attorney Gary Mitchell also suggested in closing arguments that Lymon, who is black, may have been especially fearful about the police encounter because of his race.

Lt. Ray Del Greco testified that Webster had followed police policies while conducting the traffic stop.

Lymon already has been sentenced in federal court to nearly four decades in prison after being convicted of firearms-related charges and other crimes.

A sentencing hearing for Lymon in state court on the murder conviction and other counts has not yet been scheduled.

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