A Palm Beach Gardens woman facing charges of drug possession and driving with a suspended license has become the latest person arrested by the same officer who shot Corey Jones to accept a plea offer and avoid a potential trial.
According to court records, former Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja arrested 35-year-old Melanie Navarro on August 18, exactly two months before his deadly encounter with 31-year-old stranded motorist Corey Jones, who was waiting for a tow truck at the exit ramp of Interstate 95 at PGA Boulevard when Raja approached him in plainclothes and eventually opened fire, killing him.
Navarro was charged possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving on a suspended license. According to court records, Navarro accepted a plea agreement Wednesday and was sentenced to the 32 days she has already served in jail on the charges.
Raja, an eight-year veteran with the Atlantis Police Department, began working for Palm Beach Gardens Police in April and was still on probation at the time he shot Jones. Raja said he shot Jones because the popular drummer came towards him with a gun.
Palm Beach Gardens fired Raja shortly after the shooting but offered no reason. Because he was still on probation, they explained, they could fire him without cause.
Since Jones’ shooting, prosecutors have either dropped charges against or made plea offers to at least a half dozen defendants in cases for which Raja was the arresting officer.
In one of the most recent cases, Matthew Oshman was facing burglary, petit theft and other charges connected to three separate cases but took a plea and agreed to a term of probation that included jail time on the morning his trial was to begin.