Trial beginning for officer who killed motorist

Officer Jeronimo Yanez outside court during a break Tuesday

The graphic video showing Philando Castile's final moments after he was shot by a Minnesota police officer made headlines almost a year ago and led to calls for changes in policing.

The selection process begins Tuesday and is expected to last at least a couple of days.

But Judge Leary denied the motion weeks later and made a decision to keep the trial in St. Paul, finding that Yanez failed to show that there is a "reasonable likelihood" a trial in Ramsey County would be unfair.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter in the killing of Philando Castile.

Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds live-streamed the aftermath of her boyfriend's shooting on Facebook. The entire encounter lasted barely more than a minute.

Authorities later found Castile had a gun permit.

In a recording of a police radio conversation that prosecutors now say was Officer Yanez speaking to his partner, Officer Joseph Kauser, Yanez says, "The two occupants just look like people who were involved in a robbery". The last two charges are for endangering Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her daughter, then 4, who were in the vehicle at the time.

The statute Yanez is charged under requires prosecutors to show he acted with culpable negligence _ that he was reckless and acted unreasonably for the situation.

His attorneys have argued Yanez reacted to the presence of a gun and had to use deadly force to protect himself.

Meantime, protesters demanding the officer be charged spilled onto Interstate 94, leading to police injuries and arrests.

Yanez has pleaded not guilty.

Trial beginning for officer who killed motorist
Trial beginning for officer who killed motorist

But 39 percent resulted in non-convictions. The second one profiles Yanez, who is Latinx. And the retrial of former University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing is underway after his first case ended with a hung jury last November.

SEPIC: Castile who worked for years as a school cafeteria supervisor had a legally permitted handgun in his pocket. They haven't said whether Yanez will testify on the witness stand, but Daly and Frase said his self-defense claim nearly necessitates that he testify even though he has a constitutional right to remain silent.

The graphic video showing Philando Castile's final moments after he was shot by a Minnesota police officer made headlines almost a year ago and led to calls for changes in policing.

The state argues Castile was trying to comply with the officer's orders to produce his driver's license when Yanez recklessly shot him.

"Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me".

Gray also argued that because Yanez didn't know Castile was licensed to carry a firearm when he shot him, it was irrelevant to the case and should not be presented to the jury.

Each moment of the July 6 exchange was captured on audio from Yanez's squad auto and on video.

"Wasn't as diverse as I thought it would be", said John Thompson, a friend of Castile's.

Yanez told investigators he feared for his life and believed Castile was reaching for his weapon, the complaint said.

Yanez told Castile not to reach for his gun and Castile said he was not, before Yanez pulled his weapon and shot Castile seven times, according to court documents. "Philando Castile moaned and uttered his final words: I wasn't reaching for it".


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