Jury convicts Indiana man in attack on state trooper
The Associated press February 16, 2013 11:58PM
Updated: February 16, 2013 11:58PM
ROCKVILLE — A Terre Haute man has been convicted of trying to kill a state trooper who was responding to a reported domestic dispute.
Parke County jurors deliberated for about three hours Friday before finding 20-year-old Zachary Buza guilty of felony charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery, criminal recklessness, and a misdemeanor charge of battery resulting in bodily injury. Sentencing is set for March 14 in Rockville.
Prosecutors said Buza fired three shots at a marked car driven by Indiana State Trooper Michael Organ when he and Deputy Town Marshal Kevin Bratcher responded to a reported attack on a 17-year-old girl and her 42-year-old father last July in Rosedale, about 12 miles north of Terre Haute.
Bratcher and Organ took cover behind the patrol car after Buza broke out a bathroom window in the home and began firing a rifle at them, authorities said. Both men were struck by flying glass and shrapnel.
Buza, who was arrested after a three-hour standoff, told jurors Friday that he had been drinking and he remembers only part of what happened. He said he did not recall returning to the Rosedale home he had been sharing with his teenage girlfriend and her parents.
He did say he remembers arguing with the girl’s father and getting hit in the head with a baseball bat by the older man.
Defense attorney Jim Bruner told the jury that Buza was upset by the fight and may have believed he was shooting at the girl’s father when he fired out the window.
The jury acquitted Buza on charges related to injuries to Bratcher, who was struck by shrapnel from the gunfire, and a charge of strangulation related to his teenage girlfriend.