EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A Texas jury has convicted a teenager in the beating death of an El Paso police officer.
The jury deliberated for about five hours Monday before finding 19-year-old Juan Antonio Gonzalez guilty of murder in the 2012 death of Officer Jonathan Molina. He faces between five and 99 years in prison.
Molina was off duty when he confronted Gonzales and two others who were vandalizing his personal car and told them he was an officer. Prosecutors say Gonzalez punched him and pulled his legs out from under him. They say Gonzalez punched Molina again after he fell.
Molina died nine days later of a severe brain injury.
Gonzalez’s attorney says the teenager was acting in self-defense because he thought his friend was in danger.