Minnesota officer pleads not guilty in shooting death of Philando Castile

The St. Anthony police officer charged in Philando Castile's July death is expected to enter a plea in Ramsey County District Court Monday.

The St. Anthony Police Department officer, Jeronimo Yanez, is now tentatively set to face trial May 30 for second-degree manslaughter and two counts of unsafe discharge of a firearm for the shooting death of Philando Castile.

Yanez is facing charges of second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of risky discharge of a firearm.

Yanez is expected to plead not guilty at Monday's hearing, one of his attorneys said earlier this month. His trial is scheduled to begin on May 30.

Yanez said he had reason to pull over the auto because Castile looked like a suspect in a convenience store robbery that took place in the area four days earlier, court documents said.

Castile's distraught girlfriend streamed video on Facebook Like showing the shooting aftermath.

The shooting garnered headlines around the world because the 32-year-old girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live streamed the moments after the shooting on Facebook.

Defense attorneys have said that charges against Yanez should be dropped because Castile, who is black, put himself at risk by allegedly consuming marijuana and disobeying police orders. St. Anthony's Police Department also provides service for Falcon Heights.

Prosecutors say that after Yanez pulled Castile over for a broken taillight, Castile calmly told the officer that he had a gun with him.

Castile is black. Yanez is Latino.

The complaint filed against Yanez states that Castile informed the officer he had a firearm on him shortly after he was pulled over.

Yanez was the first officer to have been charged in more than 150 police-involved deaths in Minnesota since 2000.

  • Larry Hoffman