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Man found guilty of lesser offenses in assault on officers trial

A Lula man charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer has been found guilty of lesser offenses.

James Eugene Shockley, 34, faced trial this week on four counts of aggravated assault upon a peace officer from an incident in February 2019. Shockley was accused of striking patrol vehicles occupied by officers during the course of a Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad investigation.

Lt. Don Scalia said at the time of Shockley’s arrest that the Lula man allegedly tried to drive away from law enforcement but struck a MANS unit vehicle and a marked vehicle from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office’s warrant division.

The jury was allowed to consider three lesser-included offenses on each aggravated assault upon a peace officer count, which were obstruction of a peace officer, reckless driving and simple assault.

The jury returned a verdict Thursday, May 6, with guilty on all three lesser offenses for each count.

Shockley was also found guilty of possession of methamphetamine but acquitted on possession of meth with intent to distribute.

The jury also convicted on two counts of interference with government property and having no proof of insurance.

Assistant Public Defender Sarah Willis led the defense with assistance from fellow public defender Matt Leipold.

Sentencing was set for May 24.

Leipold said they were planning a brief for the judge to clarify for what Shockley will be sentenced, as there may be some counts that will merge.

“I think the jury listened intently to all the evidence,” Leipold said. “They seemed very interested, and I suspect that most of the time they spent deliberating was probably working through the legal charge and all the lesser-included offenses, because it was very complicated.”

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