An Iowa man is convicted of murdering a police officer who tried to arrest him

ALGONA, Iowa (AP) — Jurors on Thursday convicted an Iowa man of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a police officer who was trying to arrest him.

Kyle Ricke, 43, faces life in prison for the murder of 33-year-old Algona Police Officer Kevin Cram, the Des Moines Register reported. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 21.

Cram was on patrol in Algona, a community of about 5,300, when he learned of an arrest warrant for Ricke on a charge of harassment, investigators have said. The officer saw Ricke and told him he would be arrested. That’s when Ricke shot him, according to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Prosecutors said Ricke shot Cram eight times. He allegedly told his sister days before the shooting that he would not go back to jail. Video shows Ricke shouting, “Too late!” at Cram after the officer fell to the ground.

Video also shows Ricke then trying to shoot himself, but there were no bullets left in his gun. He fled but was arrested later that day in Brown County, Minnesota, which is about 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of Algona.

Defense attorney Barbara Westphal argued that the shooting was not planned.

“Mr. Ricke did not have the mindset to reflect on what he was doing. He was acting out of instinct,” she said. “He did not have the time to ponder what he was doing.”

Half the courtroom was filled with Cram’s family and other supporters, some of whom wept as the verdict was read about an hour after jurors began deliberation, according to the Des Moines Register. Ricke showed no apparent reaction to the verdict, the newspaper reported.

Prosecutor Scott Brown told the newspaper that Cram’s family was glad to see his killer face justice.

“I think they’re relieved, mainly, that this process is over, and the result is what they expected,” he said. “It’s been a long road, even though it was less than a year to get this to trial. It was still tough for them, and it will continue to be difficult.”

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