Jury finds man guilty of attempted murder for trying to shoot police officer


UTICA — A Utica man was found guilty by a County Court jury this week of trying to shoot a police officer in the city.

Earl Roberts, 31, was convicted on Tuesday after a week-long jury trial, presided over by Judge Robert L. Bauer. Roberts was convicted of one count each of attempted murder of a police officer, attempted assault on a police officer, second-degree use of a firearm, second-degree possession of a loaded firearm and third-degree possession of a weapon, according to court officials.

Roberts is scheduled to return for sentencing on Oct. 25. Roberts was represented by defense attorney Rebecca Wittman, with assistant district attorneys Laurie Lisi and Stephanie Singe as prosecutors.

Authorities said at about 5:40 p.m. April 20, 2020, Patrolman Peter Caruso encountered Roberts near Brayton Park Place and Roberts started making threatening statements towards the officer.

When Caruso got out of his patrol car to speak to Roberts, authorities said Roberts started shooting, firing a total of eight shots towards the officer.

Caruso took cover behind his driver’s side door and authorities said one round hit the door. Police said Caruso returned fire with three shots from his duty weapon.

Neither man was hit and neither man was injured.

Authorities said Roberts ran from the scene and he was taken into custody later that day after a standoff.


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