A jury in Travis County, Texas has reached a verdict in the case of Andrew Jones, who was on trial for the attempted murder of an Austin police officer.
After deliberating for more than five hours, the jurors returned a verdict of not guilty — clearing Jones of the attempted murder and aggravated assault charges.
In 2014, Jones led Officer Matt Murphy on a high-speed chase through the city of Austin, after he stole a car from a student in College Station. A short chase on foot followed. Police say Jones tried to shoot Murphy, but there was no bullet in the chamber of the gun.
My Statesman reports that defense attorney Amber Vazquez Bode “exposed inconsistencies in the officer’s testimony.”
Murphy had testified that he shot Jones three times with a Taser, then apprehended him outside an apartment complex, after the stolen car crashed. Murphy said that when he approached the suspect he heard a “clicking noise” indicating Jones was trying to shoot the gun. While the noise was not picked up on a recording device on the officer’s uniform, prosecutors argued there was “interference with outside noise.”
The defense attorney noted that Murphy didn’t actually see Jones pull the trigger when he chased him into a grassy area.
Prosecutors told the court that Jones had a “deep-seated hatred for police.”
“Murphy had no idea Jones would react violently when he tried to pull him over in the parking lot of an H-E-B store after a routine license plate search reported the car had been stolen the day before,” Prosecutor Aurora Perez told the jury.
Jones is expected back in court at a later date to answer charges that he stole a vehicle registered to a Texas A&M University student.
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