BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Bakersfield man entered a no contest plea Tuesday to assault with a firearm for shooting a Bakersfield Police Department officer in 2010.
As part of a plea agreement, five other charges, including two counts of attempted murder, filed against David Rosas, 24, were dismissed. The agreement stipulated that Rosas will be sentenced to 16 years in prison, according to Kern County Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman.
Rosas’ attorney, Tony Lidgett, was disappointed that Rosas agreed to a plea agreement, but said he understood why his client took the deal when he was facing 50 years to life in prison.
“Eventually he was just too scared and he took the deal,” Lidgett said.
Rosas shot BPD Officer Christopher Messick at 4 a.m. Nov. 28, 2010 when Messick was taking a perimeter position behind a fence in an alley behind Rosas’ residence in the 1000 block of Meredith Drive, according to a district attorney’s office news release and Californian archives. Police were at the residence to investigate neighbors’ reports that Rosas had fired a shot earlier.
Lidgett said Rosas had fired a shot in the air earlier to scare away some men who had argued with him in front of his home.
The men said they would come back for revenge and Rosas and his family were scared, Lidgett said.
When their dog began barking in the backyard, Rosas went out to investigate.
“In the shadow, he can actually see what it turns out to be the officers crouched down,” Lidgett said.
Rosas fired his gun, hitting Messick. Messick and his partner returned fire but no one else was shot. Police arrested Rosas and Henry Enizo Hernandez, then a juvenile, and found a 9 mm handgun hidden behind the back door of the home.
Messick was treated at a hospital and released. He has since returned to duty with the police department, according to a news release from the District Attorney’s Office.
Spielman said “the charges would have been different and (Rosas) would have been looking at some more time” if he had knowingly shot at officers.
Lidgett said to him, the case was self-defense.
“I still think if (Rosas) would have (gone) to trial, he would have been (found) not guilty,” Lidgett said.
Hernandez was charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm. The charges against him were dismissed in February. Spielman said Hernandez received a juvenile sentence in exchange for his testimony in Rosas’ case.
“He was sentenced as a juvenile to accomplice after a felony was committed,” Spielman said.
Article Published By KGET, https://www.bakersfield.com/archives/bakersfield-man-takes-plea-deal-in-officer-shooting-case/article_2489e0f1-47d2-5aa3-86fe-38cee0d9ff7b.html