updated 5/20/2008 6:30:51 PM ET 2008-05-20T22:30:51

A jury convicted an Atlanta police officer Tuesday of lying to investigators after a botched drug raid in which a 92-year-old woman was killed, but cleared him of two more serious charges.

After deliberating for parts of four days, the jury convicted Arthur Tesler of making false statements. He was acquitted of charges that he violated his oath of a public officer and false imprisonment under color of legal process.

Tesler, who is on leave from the police force, faces up to five years in prison.

Plainclothes narcotics officers used a special "no-knock" warrant to raid Kathryn Johnston's home on Nov. 21, 2006. Police fired 39 bullets, hitting Johnston five or six times, prosecutors said.

An informant had described buying drugs from a dealer there, police said. Since the raid, authorities have said the warrant was based on false information. When the officers burst in without warning, Johnston fired at them, and they fired back, killing her.

Two other officers involved in the raid, Jason R. Smith and Gregg Junnier, have pleaded guilty to state manslaughter and federal civil rights charges.

The shooting has brought scrutiny to the police use of no-knock warrants, which are typically used to search for drugs and weapons. An Associated Press review of all no-knock warrants filed in Atlanta's Fulton County in 2006 found that authorities often give scant detail when applying for the warrants.

The raid led to a sweeping investigation of the Atlanta Police Department. In the wake of the shooting, the department was also forced to tighten its warrant requirements.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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