EASTON, Pa. — A 22-year-old man was convicted of attempted murder Friday for opening fire on two state troopers during a traffic stop last fall, critically wounding one of them.
Daniel Clary shot 13-year veteran Cpl. Seth Kelly, who was helping another trooper arrest Clary along the roadside in Northampton County. Clary had been pulled over for speeding and failed field sobriety tests.
Despite being hit with a stun gun, Clary managed to break free, retrieve a semi-automatic pistol from his car and open fire on Kelly and Trooper Ryan Seiple, authorities have said. Both troopers returned fire, hitting Clary several times. Clary then fled, driving himself to a hospital, where he was taken into custody.
The jury in Easton found Clary guilty on nine of the 10 charges he faced, after less than two hours of deliberations.
“It was a very emotional day. Justice was served,” Kelly said as he left court with his wife, according to The Morning Call. “I just want to thank the community for all its support.”
Defense attorney Janet Jackson argued her client feared for his life after the stun gun was used on him, and said she plans to appeal.
“He accepts responsibility, but we felt we had a valid self-defense argument,” Jackson told the newspaper.
He’ll be sentenced at a later date.
Clary’s mother has said her son has a long history of mental illness and suffers from paranoid schizophrenia after a series of head injuries.
Clary was found competent to stand trial following a mental health evaluation.
Officials have said Kelly may have saved his own life by applying a tourniquet on his wounded leg before paramedics arrived.
Kelly was in a medically induced coma for 12 days and has said he retains no memory of the shooting. He was shot through the femoral artery in his leg, twice in the left shoulder and once in the neck.
Seiple said at a hearing before the week-long trial that he remembers three things as he was falling backward during the firefight and getting back up.
“The first thought that crossed my mind was, ‘Please don’t let me get shot in the back of the spine,'” he testified. “The second was, ‘Don’t let me get shot in the head.’ The third was, ‘Don’t let me die.'”