The criminal trial for a 33-year-old man accused of shooting a Pleasant Valley police officer in the face is scheduled to begin Monday morning in Clay County Circuit Court.
Omar D. Maria of Kansas City was charged in December 2014 with assault on a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action for the incident that happened during a traffic stop on Interstate 35 just north of Interstate 435.
Officer Jacob Baldwin pulled over a green Honda Accord allegedly driven by Maria for a vehicle registration violation. Maria allegedly jumped out of the vehicle and fired several shots from a semiautomatic handgun toward the windshield of Baldwin’s police car before Baldwin could get out, according to court records.
Baldwin, who was 37 at the time, was struck in the face. He radioed for help as the gunman got back in his vehicle and sped away.
After searching overnight, authorities received a tip about Maria’s location. He was arrested after a brief standoff at a residence in the 1900 block of Parallel Avenue in Kansas City, Kan.
Police from Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan., along with agents from the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives helped make the arrest.
Maria has three felony Jackson County criminal convictions from 2008. Two involved vehicle thefts and one involved a drug possession charge. He served 120 days in prison before being released on probation, which he later violated. Those felony convictions meant Maria could not legally possess a firearm or ammunition.