OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A Northern California jury deadlocked Monday on a murder charge against a man who authorities say was discovered with his friend’s dead body in a rented truck, but he was found guilty of trying to kill two police officers.
Charles Goetting, 32, was convicted of shooting at two Bay Area Rapid Transit officers, wounding one in the arm, when they approached him at the Hayward station on Christmas Day of 2015, the Bay Area News Group reported.
Goetting, of Contra Costa, was shot several times during the confrontation.
Prosecutors had argued that two days earlier, Goetting deliberately shot 40-year-old Colin Anderson in the back of the head during an argument. The defense contended that Goetting shot his friend in self-defense after Anderson, under the influence of drugs, attacked him with an airsoft gun that Goetting believed was real.
Goetting placed Anderson’s tarp-wrapped body in the back of his U-Haul truck, intending to bury it, but he ran out of gas at the BART station, the defense said.
When officers spotted him, Goetting, who hadn’t slept for two days and had used methamphetamine, panicked and opened fire before they searched the truck, but he never intended to kill, the defense said.
The Alameda County Superior Court jury convicted Goetting of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon on police officers, but following five days of deliberations, announced it couldn’t reach a verdict on the charge of first-degree murder.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether prosecutors intend to re-try Goetting for murder. With the other convictions, he could face more than 35 years to life in state prison.
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