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Man accused of shooting Mount Vernon officer Mike McClaughry found guilty

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MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -- The man accused of shooting Mount Vernon police officer Mike McClaughry during a standoff in 2016 was found guilty of attempted murder Thursday.

The jury found Ernesto Rivas guilty of two charges of attempted murder and four counts of assault with a deadly weapon in the first degree.

Prosecutors opened the trial by calling the shooting an unprovoked attack on an officer.

“Officer McClaughry says 'Ernie, we just want to talk to you,' he turns away – he’s looking down – and while he’s looking there… he’s shot,” said a member of the prosecution earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the defense blamed the shooting on gang members who were with Rivas.

McClaughry was shot in the head and is now permanently blind.

Before the trial, McClaughry spoke about the challenges he continues to face since being shot, saying:

“I will share with you that there was more than one moment where I needed to go quietly somewhere, there`s no one else around, and you just cry. You don`t have a choice in that, you have to let that go, because if you don`t get that out of your system you can’t go forward."

Sentencing will be decided at a later date, but Rivas faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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