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Former Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja to remain on house arrest

Posted at 10:05 AM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 19:20:52-04

The former officer accused of killing local drummer Corey Jones will remain on house arrest. A Palm Beach County judge denied his motion to be removed from house arrest Thursday afternoon.

NewsChannel 5 also learned the State has filed a stronger charge against Nouman Raja, changing a second degree felony to a first degree felony which is punishable by up to life in prison.

Right now, Raja can do certain things like go to work, get his hair cut, drop his daughter off at school, but Thursday he was asking to get off house arrest completely.

It was a request Corey's family called a “disgrace” and “disrespectful.”

The courtroom was filled to capacity for the hearing.

For the first time since his arrest, we heard from Raja on the stand.

Raja told the judge he and his family are in financial trouble. It’s one of the reasons he was asking to be removed from house arrest . Raja explained he would be able to make more money at his job selling tactical supplies to  law enforcement agencies.

However, seeing Raja take the stand, turned out to be too emotional for Corey Jones' family. Corey's aunt broke down in tears, having to leave the courtroom after she took the stand.

"Just thinking about Corey laying out there for 13 hours and his family not being able to touch him,” said Sheila Bank’s.

Corey’s father  also testified, telling the judge he thinks Raja’s request is a disgrace and called the house arrest terms a “luxury.”

Ultimately, the judge denied the defense’s motion, deciding Raja should remain on house arrest. However, she said she would entertain “reasonable” requests like allowing Raja to mow his lawn, something he currently can’t do on house arrest.

While this was the decision Corey family had hoped, his brother says the road to justice is far from over.

“It’s not over yet,” said CJ Jones, Corey’s brother. “He’s still out. I mean he still can do whatever he wants inside of the house. We want to see him in jail.”

Raja also had loved ones in the courtroom, including his wife.

The trial is currently scheduled for the end of October, but his attorneys say they might need more time to prepare for the trial.

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