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Teen Faces Life Sentence After Admitting To Shooting Police Officer In Westchester

Frank Valencia Photo Credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office
Frank Valencia, far right. Photo Credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office
Officer Kayla Maher. Photo Credit: Yonkers Police Department

A Westchester teenager is facing life in prison after pleading guilty to shooting a Yonkers police officer last year and to his involvement in a separate New Rochelle shooting.

New Rochelle resident Frank Valencia, 19, has pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of criminal possession of a weapon for his involvement in a standoff involving Officer Kayla Maher, who was shot in the jaw.

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, they 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.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr., said that 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 also pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon dating back to an incident on Sept. 11 last year in New Rochelle. Valencia admitted to firing his gun several times at a vehicle occupied by multiple people. No injuries were reported in the New Rochelle shooting.

Valencia is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 8 next year, when he will face between 24 years to life in prison. Charges against Reyes, 23, are still pending.

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