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Jan 15, 2014 11:15 PM by Rebecca Taylor

Ricky Mendoza acquitted of aggravated assault, in shooting of TPD officer

TUCSON - A man accused of shooting a Tucson Police officer in the head has been acquitted of aggravated assault. But he will face prison time for burglary and weapons violations after a jury found him guilty of those charges.

The trial of Richard 'Ricky' Mendoza wrapped late Wednesday afternoon. News 4 Tucson's Rebecca Taylor spoke with the officer who's still recovering from his injuries.

Sergeant Carpenter says while he's disappointed in the verdict, he's ready to move on.

"Next for me is going back to work, full duty capacity, which may be as early as next week," says Sgt. Carpenter who sat through the six day trial and was called to testify.

The prosecution said that Mendoza, who admitted to burglarizing the home, shot Sgt. Carpenter while hiding nearby.

Mendoza's defense attorney argued that police could not place him in the area at the time of the shooting. The jury agreed, deliberations took four hours.

"It's obviously disappointing, I don't agree with the jury's verdict, but it's up to them to decide, and that's the end of it," Carpenter said. "The recovery has been very difficult, extensive. I can't count the number of doctor visits, and therapy sessions I've attended over the past year, but it's all behind me now. The trial's behind me and life goes on."

Mendoza was found guilty on two counts of burglary and six counts of prohibited possession of a firearm. He'll be sentenced for those crimes February 13th.

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