Judge reduces conviction in stairwell death case

Posted at 3:17 PM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 15:17:40-04

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge has reduced the manslaughter conviction of a former New York City police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man in a darkened stairwell.

Brooklyn state Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun ruled Tuesday that ex-officer Peter Liang’s conviction should be cut to the lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide.

A jury convicted Liang this winter of manslaughter in the 2014 death of Akai Gurley. The verdict marked the first conviction of a New York City police officer in an on-duty shooting since 2005.

The 28-year-old rookie officer was patrolling the inside of a public housing complex when he opened the stairwell door and fired once. The bullet ricocheted and hit Gurley.

The DA’s office says it will appeal the judge’s decision.