LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An ex-LAPD officer charged in the fatal shooting a man in Pomona in 2015 and fleeing to Mexico was found guilty of second-degree murder Wednesday by a Los Angeles jury.
Henry Solis, now 32, was accused of fatally shooting Salome Rodriguez Jr., 23, outside of a bar on March 13, 2015, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Detectives said Solis and Rodriguez got into a fight inside the bar and the confrontation spilled out into the street. The brawl subsequently ending in gunfire.
Following the deadly shooting, the fugitive officer fled to Mexico with help from his father, Victor.
During an extensive manhunt search, the LAPD Devonshire Division of the San Fernando Valley formally fired Solis. He was previously employed as a probationary officer and was off-duty when the incident occurred.
His 53-year-old father lied to federal authorities by stating he dropped his son off at a Texas bus stop. Victor was later convicted by a federal jury of lying to the FBI about helping Solis escape. Victor was sentenced to spend three years on probation and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
Solis was arrested on May 26, 2015, by Mexican authorities in the border city of Juarez. He was then deported back to the U.S. to face charges.
During the trial, Solis claimed that he was trying to arrest Rodriguez after being robbed and sexually assaulted by two men inside the bar’s restroom.
Prosecutors argued that Solis confronted the wrong guy and said he later told a roommate that he had killed someone.
Defense Attorney Bradley Brunon argued that Solis was a victim and knew who his alleged attacker was. He claimed that Solis panicked and fled the scene.
“We felt that the evidence didn’t warrant a murder conviction, perhaps manslaughter,” Brunon said. “He’s a person who has never been in trouble a day in his life…He’s looking at a potential life sentence.”
After hearing the guilty verdict, Rodriguez’s mother said she was happy but also sad for Solis’ family.
“Their son is in prison or jail, and we’ll be praying for them because I know that they’re going to be with that pain,” she said.
Solis is expected back in court on March 11 for sentencing. He faces 40 years to life in prison for the second-degree murder conviction, as well as gun allegations.
His attorney said he will be filing motions for a lesser sentence.