KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A Criminal Court jury took just over an hour today to convict Cameron Cook of attempted first-degree murder for shooting a Knoxville Police Department officer.
Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood set sentencing for May 29.
Cook, 20, could be sentenced to up to 25 years for shooting KPD Officer Andrew Olson last year with a 12-gauge shotgun.
The trial concluded Tuesday with dramatic testimony from Cook and Olson, and closing arguments by Assistant Knox County Attorney General Takisha Fitzgerald and defense lawyer Phil Lomonaco.
Jurors began deliberating at 9 a.m. today.
It was never disputed that Cook fired two shots from a 12-gauge pump shotgun and pulled the trigger a third time when the gun was out of shells.
"I just wasn't thinking," Cook said.
"I thought I was going to die," Olson said.
But Cook insisted he was not trying to kill the officer, only dissuade him from continuing to chase him, and that he never aimed the gun directly at him. He said his judgment in pulling the gun was likely impaired by marijuana, ecstasy and other drugs he had consumed earlier.
According to evidence and testimony, Olson was pursuing Cook because the vehicle Cook was driving was reported stolen. At Washington Pike near Alice Bell Road, Cook stopped, pulled on a hooded sweatshirt, stepped out of his car and began firing.
Jurors saw a videotape of the action that captured Cook firing the first shot, which consisted of small pellets used in bird hunting. They struck the road. As Olson opened his door and began to run to the rear of his cruiser for better cover, the second shot -- a 1-ounce solid slug -- went through the open door and struck him in the leg.
Olson was in the hospital for 10 days and has been through several follow up surgeries. He said it is "highly unlikely" that is leg will ever heal enough for him to return to patrol duty. He is currently assigned as an investigator with the department's intelligence gathering unit.
Last month, a jury convicted Cook of several charges but deadlocked on attempted first-degree murder. Cook, 18 at the time of the shooting, has just turned 20.
Copyright 2012 - The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service