BAY COUNTY, Fla. - Samuel Reager was found guilty of the attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer Friday night.
Jurors deliberated for two hours before finding Reager guilty of attempted first-degree murder, robbery with a firearm and trespassing in an attack on Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer David Brady back in August 2015.
Reager, Brady and Reager's friend Lachlan Akins were involved in an altercation when Reager pulled out a handgun and starting firing at Brady. Brady jumped into the water for safety. Reager and Akins then stole Brady's boat and attempted to run over him with it.
Akins testified against Reager during this week's trial. Reager's defense team tried to prove that it was Akins, not Reager, who was the real shooter. But the jury disagreed.
Reager faces a life sentence. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 23 at 9 a.m.
Earlier Friday, wtness Robert Barnes talked about how he and his friend returned to his friend's home on Massalina Drive and found that it was broken into.
Barnes said he had his weapon drawn and identified Reager sitting at the top of his stairs.
"I saw him holding his left arm up if I recall correctly. It was wrapped with the bandage, loosely wrapped and blood was running down his arm," said Barnes.
Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Ben Weaver also took the stand, and said he was involved in a grid search for two suspects.
He says he arrested Lachlan Akins after he jumped from a window out of the home. Weaver says he saw another suspect after taking Akins into custody.
"As we returned, there was another white male in that window looking at us and he had several officers looking back at him. White male, blonde hair," said Weaver.
Meanwhile Bay County Sheriff's deputy Jeff Bennett testified he was allowed into the home where he arrested Reager.
"I held Mr. Reager at gunpoint. We gave some loud verbal commands and he complied with it," said Bennett.
However Defense Attorney Edward Bilinkas implied that Akins was the shooter trying to escape.
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