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Guilty verdict in LA shooting hoax

Sept. 13, 2011 at 1:11 PM

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles school police officer accused of staging his own shooting in a hoax that triggered a massive and costly manhunt has been found guilty.

Jeffrey Stenroos, 31, was found guilty Monday of planting false evidence, insurance fraud and workers' compensation fraud, the Los Angeles Times reported.

LA County Superior Court Judge Richard N. Kirschner ordered Stenroos, whom he called "a disgrace," sent to state prison for a 90-day psychological evaluation to assess whether he should receive a prison sentence or probation.

In the Jan. 19 incident, Stenroos told officers that he had been following up on a report of a car burglar in the area around a Woodland Hills high school when a man with a ponytail and bomber-style jacket shot him in the chest and fled.

Stenroos' bulletproof vest had apparently saved him from serious injury or death.

Believing a dangerous gunman might still be in the area, more than 550 police officers fanned out over neighborhoods near the school and kept an eight-mile area locked down for 10 hours.

During the trial, a Los Angeles Police Department detective testified Stenroos admitted to faking the attack.

City officials are seeking more than $350,000 in restitution from Stenroos to cover the costs of the police manhunt, the Times reported.

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