Jury finds LMPD officer guilty of official misconduct, acquitted - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jury finds LMPD officer guilty of official misconduct, acquitted on 3 other charges

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Jefferson County jury found a Louisville Metro Police officer guilty on a charge of official misconduct Friday afternoon but acquitted him of the three remaining charges.

Officer Zach Aubrey was found guilty of one count of official misconduct. The jury acquitted him of a second count of official misconduct, as well as charges of terroristic threatening and harassment.

"We thought the proof came in as it should have," said Steve Schroering, Aubrey's defense attorney. "We respect the jury's verdict and again grateful he was not found guilty on the more serious charges."

The verdict came about four hours after attorneys for both sides finished delivering closing arguments.

In June 2016, Officer Aubrey was off-duty in his personal car, sitting at a stoplight on Taylorsville Road, when he says a silver Jeep crossed the center line and crashed into him.

Aubrey claimed the driver, Justin Cook was slumped over in the front seat from a heroin overdose, and when he told Cook to get out of the car, Cook refused and put the car in reverse.

During the trial, a jury was shown profanity-laced cell phone video that shows Aubrey yelling at Cook. Witnesses also describe Aubrey kicking and beating Cook. One witness says she thought the officer was going to kill him.

Aubrey's attorney says he yelled and got physical as an alternative to using a taser. Prosecutors argued Aubrey's force was excessive.

"I'm just happy that the they came to a decision and the fact that they were able to adjudicate his behavior as a violation of the law and find him guilty of official misconduct in the second degree," prosecutor J.P. Ward said. "We're happy with that."

Cook was charged DUI for the heroin use that caused the crash.

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