Closing arguments are set to begin on Monday in the trial of a Minnesota police officer charged with fatally shooting a black motorist during a traffic stop a year ago, the aftermath of which was streamed on social media by the driver's girlfriend.
St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, 29, has been charged with one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of unsafe discharge of a firearm.
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.
The other piece of evidence from the prosecution is they simply say that Yanez never saw a gun, even though he described the gun and what pocket it was in.
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 32-year-old school cafeteria worker was one in a string of black men to die at the hands of police in recent years, and his death drew additional attention because his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, streamed the gruesome aftermath on Facebook.
Yanez, who is Latino, is charged with second-degree manslaughter, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and two lesser counts of endangering the safety of Reynolds and her daughter for firing his gun into the auto near them.
The BCA transcript of Yanez's interview with the BCA the day after the shooting was never admitted into court and therefore could not be reviewed.
Attorneys on both sides delivered closing arguments Monday. Castile was courteous, non-threatening and kept his hands in view while Yanez spoke to him, Paulsen said.
The jury deliberating the fate of a Minnesota police officer charged in the fatal shooting of a black motorist has watched replays of two key videos in the case. Defense attorneys highlighted inconsistencies in Reynolds' statements to investigators to try to raise doubts about her honesty. Castile is then heard saying, "Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me".
Yanez testified Friday that he stopped Castile in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights because he thought Castile looked like one of two men who had robbed a nearby convenience store a few days earlier.
"The victim in this case was a good man too", Paulsen said, and referred to Castile's job at an elementary school. He also alluded to testimony from defense witnesses who portrayed Yanez as a good and honest man.
Gray agreed that the officer did not say the gun was black in his initial statements, but Gray made clear that the reason was because Yanez "had just been traumatized". She has declined to comment previously, but she said, "We need to stand in solidarity to let them know that this is not about ourselves".
As for the recording in which he said he didn't know where the gun was, he explained, "What I meant by that was I didn't know where the gun was up until I saw it in his right thigh area".
Castile had THC, the high-giving component of marijuana, in his blood when he died.
Yanez resorted to deadly force "before he was sure", Paulsen said. They resumed deliberations on Tuesday morning.
In Leary's jury instructions, the reasonableness of use of force must be judged from the prospective of the officer at the moment of the scene rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.
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