Lunedi, 27 Mag, 2019

Deliberations resume in police officer's manslaughter trial

Parmenio Sano | 18 Giugno, 2017, 03:21

Prosecutor Jeff Paulsen highlighted autopsy evidence in his closing argument in the trial of officer Jeronimo Yanez, who fatally shot Philando Castile just seconds after pulling his auto over last July in a St. Paul suburb.

St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez is charged with killing Philando Castile following a traffic stop last July in Falcon Heights.

Yanez is charged with second-degree manslaughter, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and with two lesser counts of endangering Reynolds and her then-4-year-old daughter for firing his gun into the auto near them.

In that Facebook video, Castile - bleeding heavily - insists that he hadn't been reaching for his gun, which he had a permit to carry.

Closing arguments are set to begin on Monday. Jurors will return Tuesday morning.

Defense attorney Earl Gray gives his closing arguments. He is among several American police officers facing juries this spring.

The police video begins in silence as Yanez followed a white Oldsmobile auto driven by Castile on a wide, lightly-traveled road.

The case from the Assistant Ramsey County Prosecutor Jeff Paulsen in his closing statement was that "Officer Yanez used deadly force as a first option rather than a last resort".

Paulsen reminded the jury that a bullet hit Castile in what would have been his trigger finger - but there was no bullet damage around his pocket where he had the gun.

The jury also made a request to view the transcript of the BCA interview conducted with Yanez, however, the judge denied that request because it was never submitted as evidence. "He had no complaints", prosecutor Jeffrey Paulsen said at officer Jeronimo Yanez's manslaughter trial.

"Officer Yanez's actions were justified", Gray said.

An attorney for a Minnesota police officer charged in the shooting death of a black motorist past year says the officer "did what he had to do".


At this point in time the officer was "not listening" and Castile was shot five times in the chest without being told to stop, Paulsen said.

The jury has to find three elements to convict Yanez of second-degree manslaughter: that the death occurred, Yanez caused the death of Castile by culpable negligence, and Yanez's actions took place on July 6, 2016 in Ramsey County.

After Castile was stopped, Yanez asked him to present his driver's license and insurance card.

And the definition of "culpable negligence" is "intentional conduct that (Yanez) may not have meant to be harmful, but that an ordinary and reasonably prudent person would recognize as involving a strong possibility of injury to others".

Yanez, 29, testified Friday that he clearly saw Castile's gun and that Castile disregarded his commands not to pull it out.

After the shooting, the Facebook Live video showed Yanez keeping his gun aimed at Castile while he waited for backup.

"I told him, 'Don't pull it out, ' " Yanez testified in court, adding that he tried to distract Philando, but "he continued to pull his firearm out of his pocket".

Attorney Earl Gray gave the defense's closing arguments with conviction.

In his instructions to jurors, Ramsey County judge William Leary emphasized the solemnity of the role of the jury: "The responsibility that rests upon you should be borne courageously and without fear or favor".

He said it was reasonable to deduce that Castile had smoked marijuana the day of the shooting because THC, the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis, was found in his blood.

The 15-member jury includes two black people.

Yanez is charged with second-degree manslaughter, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and with two lesser counts of endangering Reynolds and her then-4-year-old daughter for firing his gun into the vehicle near them.

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