Closing arguments set in police officer's manslaughter trial

Closing arguments are set for Monday in a Minnesota police officer's manslaughter trial in the death of a black motorist.

The shooting drew widespread attention after Castile's girlfriend streamed the gruesome aftermath on Facebook.

Seventy-four seconds is the amount of time that elapsed between the moment Yanez turned on his squad vehicle lights to the moment he fired the seventh and final shot into Castile's auto.

Prosecutor Jeff Paulsen argued that autopsy evidence showed 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. He testified forcefully Friday that he saw Castile's gun and that Castile disregarded his commands not to pull it out of his pocket. Five of the officer's seven shots struck Castile.

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. I didn't want to shoot Mr. Castile.

So what are the legal standards that the jury will have to consider as they begin deliberations?

Other officers testified that if they were told a driver had a gun, they would order him to put his hands on the steering wheel or dashboard, which Yanez did not do.

Earl Gray urged a jury to clear officer Jeronimo (yeh-RON'-ih-moh) Yanez of a manslaughter charge in the July death of Philando Castile.

The prosecutor concluded his closing argument by stating that all experts agreed on one thing: use of deadly force doesn't become justified after the fact.

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"We have this fellow who looks like the robbery (suspect), he (the officer) smells marijuana, and he says, "Don't reach for it" - and he (Castile) is ignoring him", Gray said Monday.

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.

Gray went on to say that Yanez was traumatized and that "he saw the gun".

Jurors were instructed to consider the concepts of reasonable use of force and any potential negligence of Castile.

Yanez resorted to deadly force "before he was sure", Paulsen said. Jurors were to return Tuesday morning.

A prosecutor is arguing that a Minnesota police officer never saw a gun before he shot and killed a black motorist past year during a traffic stop.

In his rebuttal, Paulsen reiterated to jurors that there was no credible evidence Castile was under the influence of marijuana and one can not conclude he was under the influence simply because THC was in his system.

A Minnesota jury has ended its first partial day of deliberations without a verdict in the trial of a police officer who fatally shot a black motorist previous year during a traffic stop.

  • Tabitha Byrd