A jury has convicted an armed robber who threatened employees and a Tempe Police officer at Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe in 2011.
Roger Nelson, 21, is slated to be sentenced on March 21. His convictions for aggravated assault on a peace officer and attempted second-degree murder each carry a possible sentence of seven to 21 years.
On Aug. 29, 2011, Nelson lost control of the vehicle he was driving and crashed into a tree at the north end of the mall. He fled the scene and ran into the mall armed with a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun, police said.
Nelson entered a shoe store and took two pairs of shoes to the sales counter, where he pointed the gun at an employee and demanded she put the shoes in a bag, officers said. He then left the mall.
Tempe Police Officer Michael Kells was standing to the rear of his marked patrol car when he saw a man, later determined to Nelson, walking toward him on the sidewalk.
Kells ordered Nelson to put his hands on top of his head, at which point Nelson drew his handgun and pointed it at the officer's chest, police said.
Kells was able to disarm Nelson and fire a Taser at him.
Nelson was taken into custody and later admitted to the series of events leading to his arrest, explaining that he had been on an "adrenaline high."
On Sept. 7, 2011, a grand jury handed up an indictment charging Nelson with three counts of aggravated assault and one count each of attempted first degree murder, armed robbery, leaving the scene of an accident, and disorderly conduct.
The jury deliberated for slightly more than a day before reaching guilty verdicts on all but the one count of attempted first-degree murder. On that count, the jury found him guilty of the lesser included offense of attempted second-degree murder.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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