Inyo County District Attorney press release
An Inyo County Jury convicted Bishop-area resident Raymond Bencoma of being a felon in possession of a firearm and a felon in possession of ammunition, but was unable to reach verdicts on charges that he assaulted four peace officers during an incident that occurred in the early morning hours of August 26, 2016. The jury found him not guilty of knowingly possessing stolen property (a misdemeanor).
The jury also found to be “true” that the Defendant had previously suffered three prior serious or violent felony convictions (commonly referred to as “strikes”).
A further date for consideration of a retrial date for the charges of assault on peace officers has been set for May 9, 2017 in the Superior Court in Independence.
Notes from the jury, which are a public record in the case, suggest that the jury could not agree on whether or not the defendant knew he was pointing a firearm at them when the officers encountered him.
“As is the case in any matter where a jury “hangs” we will carefully review the facts and circumstances, speak with any of the jurors who wish to talk to us, and will soon make a decision as to whether or not to retry Mr. Bencoma on the hung counts. The jury found beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant possessed a firearm and ammunition when contacted by law enforcement officers, and we continue to view this as a very serious case involving a dangerous individual”, said District Attorney Tom Hardy.