A jury convicted a Feltonville man Tuesday of aggravated assault in the 2013 shooting of Police Officer Edward Davies, but acquitted him of the more serious charge of attempted murder.
The Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury of nine women and three men deliberated for about nine hours from late Friday before returning the verdicts against Eric Torres, 33.
Davies, 42, a six-year veteran officer, sagged and slapped his leather jacket when the forewoman announced the not-guilty verdict on the attempted-murder charge.
"I'm just happy it's over. That's all," Davies said afterward. "It's time to move on with my family and make up for lost time. That's all."
John McNesby, president of Lodge 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police, was angered by the acquittal on the attempted-murder charge.
"This jury sent a clear message to the officers of the Philadelphia Police Department that they don't support them. We're in the midst of burying an officer now, and we could have buried Ed Davies," McNesby said.
Davies is still recovering from his wounds, which resulted in the loss of a large amount of blood and a kidney. The officer, who now walks with a cane, testified that he was in a medically induced coma for three weeks and spent 37 days in the hospital. He has another procedure and an operation to go, he added, undergoes physical therapy three times a week, and has continuing pain in his right foot and leg, and his groin, and stomach.
Assistant District Attorney Louis Tumolo, who prosecuted the case with Assistant District Attorney Ed Jaramillo, said both were "very happy with the verdict. The jury came back guilty on everything except attempted murder, but there's plenty of [prison] time to work."
Tumolo said the guilty verdict on the charge of assault on a police officer carries a mandatory 20 to 40 years in prison; the other guilty counts could raise Torres' maximum sentence to more than 80 years.
Though the jurors acquitted Torres of the most serious charge, they returned guilty verdicts on aggravated assault involving Davies and three other officers who struggled to subdue Torres on Aug. 13, 2013, in the crowded aisle of the Almonte Mini Market, 328 W. Annsbury St.
The jury also found Torres guilty on gun and drug charges involving large amounts of heroin found in his car and in his home. It also acquitted Torres of receiving stolen property - the Glock .45-caliber pistol he had when he was arrested.
Judge Charles Ehrlich set sentencing for June 8.
Davies testified that he and two other officers struggled to arrest Torres in the bodega. Officers pursued him there after he fled a car stop at Fifth Street and Allegheny Avenue.
"I just heard a bang, and when I stood up, I felt up in my chest. It was getting real hot, and my stomach got real hot, and when I looked down, I saw a hole in my shirt," Davies said.
Defense attorneys Eric Zuckerman and Catherine Berryman argued that the shooting was accidental. They said Torres was face down with his hands under him and could not have pulled the trigger or aimed his gun at anyone.
The defense lawyers declined to comment on the verdicts, but did say they would appeal.