Judge Rules Ex-LAUSD Cop Guilty in Shooting Hoax Case [UPDATED]
Jeffrey Stenroos, the former Los Angeles Unified School District cop who initiated a massive manhunt and community lockdown after falsely claiming he was shot outside a West Valley campus, has been found guilty of lying about the shooting. A Los Angeles County judge found Stenroos guilty on four felony counts and one misdemeanor in conjunction with the high-profile incident. Among the charges Stenroos faced were instances of insurance and workers comp fraud, as well as planting evidence and filing a false police report.
During the non-jury trial, the prosecution depicted Stenroos as a man with a hero complex, and alleged he was most interested in making money off the episode.
Stenroos claimed he'd been shot outside El Camino Real High School in January, and came up with a phony description of the incident and the suspect. Large swaths of the neighborhood were cordoned off to look for the suspect, while El Camino Real High School and other local schools, were placed on lockdown.
The "hoax" wound up costing the city and the LAUSD over $400,000, and the Los Angeles Police Department a great deal of time.
A sixth charge is being taken under consideration by the judge. Sentencing is scheduled for December 14th. Stenroos could receive up to five years in prison.
UPDATE 3:25 PM: Turns out being found guilty may be what finally triggers the Board of Education to actually let Stenroos go from his job. The hoax-er has been on paid administrative leave since his arrest. Said the LAUSD's Superintendent John Deasy in a statement:
“Mr. Stenroos is a disgrace to the Los Angeles School Police Department, and this District. Since he has been found guilty of five of six counts in a court of law, our legal team can proceed more quickly with the required processes needed to end the officer’s employment.”