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Man convicted of attempted murder in Ukiah chase, shooting

A Ukiah man was convicted Monday of attempted murder of a police officer after a February car chase punctuated by gunfire.

The jury deliberated for less than two hours before convicting Walter Kristopher Miller, 43, who has a long criminal history.

Miller now faces more than 100 years in prison, said his attorney, Al Kubanis.

“He's looking at a bunch” of time, Kubanis said.

In addition to attempted murder, the jury found Miller guilty of assault with a semi-automatic pistol on a peace officer, first degree burglary, witness intimidation and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Miller fired numerous rounds at a pursing Mendocino County sheriff's deputy following an attempted traffic stop in Ukiah Feb. 25, according to law enforcement.

Miller was the passenger in a 1995 Ford Thunderbird when it was pulled over for an expired registration, sheriff's authorities said.

The driver, Christopher Skaggs, of Redwood Valley, pulled over and appeared to yield, but then sped away as the deputy approached the window, initiating a pursuit that went south through Ukiah, then west on Highway 253 toward Boonville. Skaggs is scheduled for trial Feb. 3, according to the District Attorney's Office.

A little more than a mile into the pursuit, Miller leaned out the window and began firing, sheriff's authorities said.

The deputy was uninjured but a round of ammunition lodged in the grill and radiator of his patrol car, disabling it within a mile, authorities said.

The suspects abandoned the vehicle and fled but were later caught.

Property inside the car linked the suspects to a burglary.

Miller has a violent past that includes two arrests on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and convictions for intimidating a witness and receipt of stolen property, according to county and state corrections officials.

Miller has ties to a prison gang and was arrested three times last year for violation of parole in Sonoma County after his January 2012 release from San Quentin State Penitentiary, sheriff's officials said.

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