Sentencing delayed for man convicted in Visalia police officer shooting

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The sentencing for a man convicted of shooting two Visalia police officers has been delayed. That's because deputies say he attacked another inmate at the jail.

Luis Avilez was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday in a Tulare County courtroom for shooting two Visalia police officers. Cameras weren't allowed inside, but that sentencing was continued because of a different crime. The Tulare County Sheriff's Office says Avilez attacked an inmate in jail, cutting him.

Dan Underwood with the Tulare County District Attorney's Office said, "There's no sense really sentencing on one case when you don't know what's going to happen on one or more cases that are still pending."

Avilez was found guilty in July of shooting two police officers back in May 2013. Avilez shot them as they tried to arrest him. The officers have since recovered and are back to work. Captain Rick Haskill with Visalia police says they're grateful the district attorney's office got a guilty verdict.

Captain Haskill said, "They did a good job in supporting us and getting the conviction."

Now they're waiting for closure that comes from sentencing. Avilez faces 80 years to life for two counts of attempted murder on a peace officer. But they'll have to keep waiting. First, the charge involving the attack at the jail needs to be resolved. Avilez is back in court for that on September 11.

Underwood added, "I would think that that case would move through quicker than the attempted murder case did."

Avilez could be sentenced to an additional eight years in prison if convicted on the new charge.

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