A Westchester County teenager may spend the rest of his life behind bars for shooting a police officer in 2017 and his involvement in a separate shooting.
New Rochelle resident Frank Valencia has been sentenced to a term of 24 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated murder of a Yonkers police officer and criminal possession of a weapon for the shooting. He was also sentenced for criminal possession of a weapon for a second shooting in New Rochelle.
Valencia pleaded guilty on Dec. 18 last year to his involvement in a standoff involving Yonkers Police Officer Kayla Maher, who was struck in the jaw by a bullet.
Shortly after 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, two officers, including Maher were dispatched to the area of Marshall Road, near Ridge Drive, following reports of a suspicious vehicle that was occupied by two suspects.
Upon their arrival, the officers found Valencia and Jerry Reyes sitting in the parked car. As they approached, Valencia opened fire and struck Maher in the jaw, hospitalizing her. Backup arrived, officers returned fire and the two men were taken into custody, with Valencia suffering an injury in the shootout. Maher survived the gunshot wound and was released two days later.
Valencia was transported to Westchester Medical Center, where he was arraigned on the attempted murder charge. Reyes was arrested following the shootout and charged with criminal possession of a weapon. A loaded Glock 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun, high capacity magazine and bullets were recovered at the scene.
In addition to the Yonkers shooting, Valencia was also involved in an incident in New Rochelle on Sept. 11, 2017, when he fired his gun several times at a vehicle with several people inside. No injuries were reported in that shooting.
“Today justice has been served,” Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. stated. “Convicted felon Frank Valencia will be off the streets, in prison, paying for the pain he inflicted on Police Office Kayla Maher and those who dodged bullets that same day. That attack was not on one person, it was on the entire Yonkers Police force.
“As of today, Valencia will serve the prison time he deserves. We are grateful that now Det. Maher is alive and well and continues her service to others. We commend the brave members of the Yonkers Police Department on their actions that day saving the lives of their colleagues and protecting the residents of Yonkers.”
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