California (NBC)(02/07/20)— A former Los Angeles police officer accused of fatally shooting a man at a bar and then fleeing to Mexico in 2015 was convicted by a jury this week, prosecutors said.
Henry Solis, age 32, faces up to 40 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on March 11, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
He was convicted on Wednesday of second-degree murder for the March 13, 2015, shooting death of Salome Rodriguez outside a bar in Pomona, east of Los Angeles.
A murder warrant filed in the case says that Solis got into a fight with Rodriguez at a bar in downtown Pomona, then “pursued Rodriguez on foot and shot him multiple times.” Solis was off duty at the time.
Solis fled to Mexico after the killing, where he was arrested about two months later. Federal authorities said Solis’ father walked his son into Mexico using a pedestrian bridge at the Paso Del Norte border crossing in Texas and then lied about it to investigators.
Solis’ defense attorneys argued that Solis acted in self-defense in the fatal shooting, but that was rejected by jurors who convicted him, NBC Los Angeles reported.
Rodriguez was a 23-year-old truck driver. His mother, Lidia, said family members were happy about the conviction, but she found his claims of self-defense offensive.
Solis’ attorney, Bradley Brunon, said Solis, a former Marine, is a good person who served his country honorably.
“We felt that the actions of the person that was shot precipitated it, and the jury didn’t accept that,” Brunon said according to NBC Los Angeles.
Solis was a probationary LAPD officer and was fired by then-LAPD Chief Charlie Beck after the killing. Beck said at the time that Solis “dishonored this police department, your country, and your service to the country and your family.”
Solis’ father, Victor Manuel Solis, was charged with making a false statement to law enforcement. He was convicted by a jury in June of 2015 and was sentenced to three years of probation and a $1,000 fine, according to court documents.
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