CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer was found guilty Friday of second-degree murder for shooting a man while off-duty.
Officer Lowell Houser was accused of killing 38-year-old Jose Nieves in January 2017.
Investigators said Houser was off-duty when he got into a heated argument with Nieves, who was one of his neighbors. Houser said he shot and killed Nieves in self-defense.
Houser claims it was Nieves who erupted and threatened him, and pretended to have a gun in his waistband. The two were said to have had an ongoing feud.
On Friday, a judge rejected Houser’s contention that he acted in self-defense, but he also did not feel that Houser was guilty of premeditated first-degree murder.
Kim Foxx in a written statement said, “…as always, we relied upon the facts, the evidence and the law and hope that this resolution bring some measure of comfort to the victims family and helps restore integrity to our criminal justice system.”
Friday was Nieves’ father’s birthday, and after court, his father said he got exactly what he wanted. The family had been filled with grief for the past three years. Nieves’ mother said, “Today, the Lord answered our prayers.”
Houser is expected to be sentenced on Jan. 24.