A Florida appeals court has overturned the conviction of a North Miami police officer in the 2016 shooting of an unarmed mental health therapist, saying a judge erred by not allowing testimony about the officer’s training.
In 2019, Jonathan Aledda was convicted of misdemanor culpable negligence in the shooting of Charles Kinsey, Local10 reports.
Video showed Kinsey on the ground with his hands up as Aledda, armed with a rifle, threatened to shoot Kinsey’s therapy patient Arnaldo Rios.
Rios, who has autism and was 26 at the time, had escaped from the group home where Kinsey worked as a caretaker. Rios was holding a silver toy truck that Aledda testified he believed to be a gun.
Kinsey tried to calm down his patient, but Aledda ultimately fired three times at Rios. Two shots missed, but one hit Kinsey in the leg.
At the 2019 trial, Aledda testified that witnesses had called to report a man with a gun and that he believed Kinsey was being held hostage. The jury acquitted him of two felony counts of attempted manslaughter but convicted him on the misdemeanor.
Aledda was sentenced to probation and lost his job. The city of North Miami reached a confidential settlement with Rios.
In an opinion filed Wednesday, the 3rd District Court of Appeal wrote:
“We conclude that the trial court erred by not allowing Aledda — charged by the State with culpable negligence for his assessment of and response to a crime scene — to introduce testimony regarding how Aledda was trained to assess and respond in such circumstances.”