An attack on a California Highway Patrol officer with a hatchet in Trinity County six years ago resulted last week in a conviction of attempted murder of a peace officer.

Sean Erin Karjala faces a lengthy sentence following the decision by visiting Judge Bradley Boeckman. Both sides had waived the right to a jury trial.

The case arose from an incident in April 2013. Former Trinity River CHP Officer Chad Barnes, who now works for the CHP out of Redding, pulled Karjala over near Douglas City.

The CHP and a witness said Karjala came at Barnes with a hatchet before the officer shot him four times. Karjala was out of custody pending trial on sexual offense charges out of Tehama County at the time of the incident in Trinity. Those charges went federal, and after Karjala was released from the hospital he was taken into federal custody.

The federal charges have yet to be resolved, and Karjala was sent back here for trial on the Trinity charges.

In addition to attempted murder of a peace officer in performance of their duties, Judge Boeckman found Karjala guilty of forcibly resisting a peace officer, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, and special allegations including having a prior strike (felony DUI with injury) and use of a deadly weapon.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 26.

Trinity County District Attorney Donna Daly said Karjala is facing at least 30 years to life in prison. After sentencing here, the federal case against Karjala will resume.

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