Archive for Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Teen guilty in police shooting

August 26, 2008

A Shawnee teenager has been found guilty of the attempted murder of a Shawnee Police officer.

Alexander Craig Ayers, 19, was pronounced guilty Tuesday afternoon by a Johnson County jury in connection with the Feb. 17 shooting of Officer Wade Willson, who was not harmed because the shot struck his bulletproof vest.

Before the trial began Monday, Ayers pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge and felony possession of a firearm, but the trial still went forward because Ayers pleaded not guilty to the charge that he had attempted to murder Officer Willson.

"Thankfully, Officer Willson wasn't seriously hurt, and the jury sent a strong message that Johnson County won't tolerate attacks on our police officers," said Assistant District Attorney Sarah Geolas, who prosecuted the case.

The incident began, testimony indicated, after police responded to numerous reports of shots being fired in the 6600 block of Park in Shawnee. When officers arrived, Ayers attempted to flee behind the houses. Several officers were searching for Ayers when he fired multiple rounds at Willson, one of them striking him in his abdomen where he was wearing a protective vest. Willson returned fire, but Ayers fled into the woods and was apprehended a short time later.

Ayers' sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 20.

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