Teen Convicted in Slaying of Officer

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — A teen has been convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of a St. Petersburg police officer last year.

A jury deliberated four hours Friday before finding 17-year-old Nicholas Lindsey guilty in the shooting death of Officer David Crawford on Feb. 21, 2011.

Lindsey’s attorneys did not deny that he killed Crawford. Rather, they claimed he fired at the officer out of panic and should have been convicted of manslaughter instead. That way, he would be eligible for a 30-year prison sentence instead of a life sentence without possibility of early release.

The defense said Lindsey was illegally armed to defend himself against neighborhood gangs. Prosecutors contend he knew exactly what he was doing when he fired five shots at Crawford, who was trying to stop him for questioning.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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