Jury Takes 16 Minutes to Convict Man Who Once Shot at Covington Cop
A man who was once convicted of shooting at a Covington police officer is now going back to prison.
It took sixteen minutes for a Kenton County jury to convict Michael Anthony Edwards of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana, and second degree persistent felony offender.
The latest charges stem from an incident last September.
A concerned citizen flagged down Covington Police Officer Brian Powers to report a suspicious person in the area carrying a black backpack. Powers reported the information to other officers and Specialist Kyle Warner spotted a person meeting the description in a parked vehicle on Garrard Street.
Warner watched as multiple people approached the vehicle and left after brief interactions with the man inside.
When Powers approached, he saw that the man inside had the same backpack as reported.
He recognized Edwards, 27, and saw marijuana in plain view. Edwards told the officer that he and a woman who entered the vehicle were preparing to smoke it, and then quickly became argumentative and continued to reach towards his waistband despite repeated warnings not to do so. And then, Edwards tried to exit the vehicle, according to police.
A search of the backpack produced a loaded handgun.
He was arrested and later indicted.
After a two-day trial that started this week before Kenton Circuit Judge Kathleen Lape, body camera footage from the officer was shared with the jury.
After the jury found Edwards guilty following just sixteen minutes of deliberation, they reconvened in the courtroom for the sentencing phase and were able to watch the entire body cam footage, which had previously been heavily redacted at the request of defense attorneys. The jurors also heard from Sergeant Jon Mangus, who was shot at by Edwards in 2008, and also learned that Edwards had previously been convicted of trafficking heroin, which followed his prison term for the shooting.
The jury recommended a sentence of 20 years in prison.
"In light of his violent criminal history of shooting and heroin dealing, I don't know how Mr. Edwards could expect a jury to give him anything less than what he got," said Arnzen, "Especially considering his alarming behavior while armed with another gun on this occasion," said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Emily Arnzen. She said that had it not been for quick work by the officers on the scene, the situation could have escalated into another police officer shooting. "This case had alarming similarities to the time when the Defendant shot at Sgt. Mangus, but justice was served and our community is now safe from Michael Edwards."
Information from the Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Office
Photo via Kenton County Detention Center