Jury deliberating in Minnesota police shooting trial

Pauline Gross
June 19, 2017

Yanez faces one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of unsafe discharge of a firearm for endangering the lives of Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter when he fired seven bullets into the vehicle. Yanez shot Castile five times last July during a traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb, just seconds after Castile informed him he was carrying a gun. Castile's gun permit was later found in his wallet.

The jury heard closing arguments Monday and deliberated for about a half-day.

In their second day of deliberations, jurors returned to court to again see dashcam video captured by Officer Jeronimo Yanez's squad vehicle that shows the shooting of 32-year-old Philando Castile.

The footage, which has been viewed millions of times, shows the Latino officer shouting expletives while pointing his gun through the auto window at Castile's bloodied body.

Prosecutors earlier argued Yenez never saw Castile with a gun, and had plenty of options that did not involve shooting Castile.

And Yanez saw a gun and feared for his life, Gray added.

Paulsen reminded the jury of a bullet wound to what would have been Castile's trigger finger - and that there was no corresponding bullet damage nor wounds in the area of Castile's right shorts pocket, where he carried his gun.

In his final instructions to the jury, Ramsey County District Judge William H. Leary III pointed that out - and also defined what the jury's legal standard should be to convict Yanez of the individual charges. He tells his supervisor that he didn't know where Castile's gun was and that he told him to take his hand off it. Yanez testified that he meant only that he didn't see the gun at first.

He told the jury "drugs and guns don't mix", and that Castile being stoned contributed to his failing to follow Offier Yanez's command not to reach for the gun.

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The prosecution tried to argue to the judge on Tuesday that the jury should be given access to the transcript, but the defense disagreed. Reynolds said Castile was reaching for his ID in his back pocket when he was shot.

The jury also re-watched video shot and livestreamed on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds. Clarence Castile, uncle of Philando Castile, leaves the Ramsey County Courthouse in St. Paul, Minn. on Monday, June 12, 2017. Castile was courteous, non-threatening and kept his hands in view while Yanez spoke to him, Paulsen said.

Castile had the right to be treated like an "ordinary citizen" the night he was pulled over for a broken tail light, prosecutor Jeffrey Paulsen told jurors Monday morning. Closing arguments are set for Monday, June 12, in a Minnesota police officer's manslaughter trial in the death of a black motorist.

Castile had THC, the high-giving component of marijuana, in his blood when he died.

Two of the seven shots fired by Yanez missed Castile and nearly hit the girlfriend in the passenger seat, Diamond Reynolds, and her four-year-old daughter in the back seat, Paulsen said.

Yanez has been charged with manslaughter.

The 12-member jury includes two blacks.

For the two counts of risky discharge of a firearm, jurors will need to decide whether the officer discharged his firearm under circumstances that endangered Reynolds and her daughter, Dae-Anna. The rest are white, and no jurors are Latino.

Other reports by GizPress

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