Man found guilty of killing K9 officer, attempted murder in 2016 traffic stop
A jury convicted a man of killing an Alaska State Trooper K9. Almando Abarca, 27, is guilty of fatally shooting Helo in 2016.
Troopers said it started with a traffic stop on Sept. 25, 2016, when a Palmer police officer tried to pull over a car with four people inside. Abarca was the driver and led police on a pursuit on the Glenn Highway, stopping at a driveway near the Glenn and Parks Highway interchange.
Police said Abarca ran into the woods then fired multiple shots at police and troopers, who joined in the chase. Multiple bullets hit K9 officer Helo, who died later that morning.
Officers returned fire and hit Abarca in the shoulder.
Helo had been with Alaska State Troopers for three and a half years. His handler was Trooper Christopher Havens. Palmer police officer Jason Sommerville was also involved in the incident.
The jury convicted Abarca of two counts of attempted murder for firing at the officers. He’s also guilty of two counts of third-degree assault, one count of failure to stop at the director of an officer.
Abarca's sentencing is set for May 29. He faces one to four years for assault, harming a police dog and failure to stop; five to 99 years for attempted murder.
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