Iraq veteran, Purple Heart recipient pleads no contest to attempted murder, assaulting peace officer

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An Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient pleaded no contest last month to charges of attempted murder and assaulting a peace officer, according to officials at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.  

Philip Scott Newlyn, of Elk Grove, who spent a portion of 2017 in Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino, was charged after being accused of tryng to kill a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer by ramming him repeatedly with a truck. 

The attempted murder was first reported in the morning of Aug. 17, 2016, when a veteran officer of the Los Angeles Police Department — with 12 years of motorcycle experience — was injured and taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital after being struck several times by a white full-size pickup truck, investigators said at the time. 

Los Angeles County District Attorney spokesman Ricardo Santiago said that Newlyn had entered his plea last month, but that his sentencing would not be held until September 2022. D.A. officials did not respond to requests for further clarification on the timeline.  

Newlyn had returned to America from Iraq having survived an intense wartime experience. 

Newlyn, who nearly lost his leg during an attack in Iraq, was given a hero’s welcome in December 2009, when he arrived in Sacramento from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. 

He had been serving a one-year tour in Iraq with the 9th Security Forces Squadron, which provides security for convoys, patrols and aircraft. 

On Sept. 15, 2009, Newlyn was traveling with a convoy from a U.S. military base near Baghdad. An improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee. 

Newlyn, who was himself injured, pulled the Humvee’s driver — rendered unconscious by the explosion — from the damaged vehicle. 

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