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Foley's companion found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-chargers-foleyshot&amp;prov=ap&amp;type=lgns" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    <img src="http://www.nctimes.com/content/articles/2007/04/26/news/top_stories/1_10_994_26_07.jpg" title="Lisa Maree Gaut" alt="Lisa Maree Gaut" align="left" height="157" width="236" />SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A woman who was with San Diego Chargers linebacker Steve Foley the night he was shot by an off-duty police officer was found guilty Thursday of felony assault with a deadly weapon.

    Lisa Maree Gaut was convicted of trying to run down officer Aaron Mansker with Foley's car. Foley had gotten out of the car to confront Mansker, who fired a series of shots into the linebacker's left leg, hip and hand.

    The 26-year-old Gaut also was found guilty of two misdemeanor charges of drunken driving, but was acquitted of a charge of assault with a deadly weapon against a peace officer. At the time of the shooting, Mansker was in street clothes and did not display his police badge.

    Prosecutors argued that Gaut gunned the car, which was pointed at Mansker, after the shooting.

    She testified at trial that she was trying to help Foley. Her attorneys argued in court that Mansker was an inexperienced officer who made a number of bad decisions, including failing to show his badge.

    Gaut said little in court after the verdicts were read, speaking only to answer the judge's procedural questions in a low, quiet voice. Outside the courtroom, she held back tears as her attorney, Ray Vecchio, told reporters he blamed the guilty verdict on Foley's refusal to testify on Gaut's behalf.

    "He refused to talk to us from the beginning," Vecchio said.

    Attorneys for Foley said their client declined to testify in Gaut's trial because he faces two misdemeanor drunken driving counts stemming from the incident. Foley has pleaded not guilty and his case is set to go to trial May 7.

    Gaut faces up to four years in prison when she is sentenced in June, said prosecutor Jim Koerber. Two years may be added to her sentence because on the night of the shooting she was out on bail on felony auto-theft charges in Northern California. That case is pending in Solano County, Vecchio said.

    Mansker, a 23-year-old rookie officer with the Coronado Police Department, tailed Foley's car for about 30 miles on a freeway from downtown San Diego to the upscale suburb of Poway on suspicion the driver was drunk. The officer, who was driving his own car, ended up cornered in a cul-de-sac in front of Foley's home.

    Mansker testified that he identified himself repeatedly as a police officer and fired at Foley after the player reached for his waistband. Foley was unarmed. Mansker is still under investigation for his actions, said district attorney's spokesman Paul Levikow.

    Foley now walks with a limp and was released from his contract with the Chargers in March, shortly after filing a civil suit against Mansker and the city of Coronado. The outside linebacker missed last season and wasn't paid his $775,000 salary, and has lost millions more he would have earned had he continued playing until his contract expired in 2009.

    "We know Steve isn't going to be playing again," said Foley's attorney, Jordan Cohen. "So this is really positive for us -- it's implicit that the jury believes they didn't recognize Mansker as a police officer."
     

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