Prosecution timeline of traffic stop in Castile shooting
- Author: Larry Hoffman Jun 03, 2017,
Jun 03, 2017, 23:49
The immediate aftermath of the July 2016 shooting was live-streamed on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was a passenger in the vehicle along with her 4-year-old daughter. Attorneys for St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who goes on trial this week for manslaughter, have maintained he was reacting to the presence of a gun and feared for his life. The defense argued that Castile's status to carry a weapon is not relevant to the charges since Yanez had no knowledge whether Castile had a permit or not when he fired the fatal shots. Thompson said they decided not to attend the jury selection but plan to be there when testimony starts. Sheriff's deputies had to turn away a handful of reporters.
It was unclear whether Yanez's immediate family was present, though two rows in the courtroom appeared to be filled with his supporters.
The next chapter is Yanez's manslaughter trial. "Or the Yanez team would say, 'He's a good guy, he had a permit for the gun, ' but we want to bring out that he lied to get the permit".
While the jury panel received orientation, Leary discussed motions filed by Yanez's counsel, including whether to exclude statements made by Reynolds during the shooting or allow Yanez's attorneys to investigate who sold Reynolds marijuana hours before the incident. The officer who shot him is Latino.
FILE - In this July 24, 2016, file photo, protesters chant and dance during a demonstration in front of the governor's residence in St. Paul, Minn., against the July 6 shooting death of Philando Castile by St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez while making a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, says, "He's not pulling it out".
Ramsey County District Court Judge William H. Leary III proposed omitting the statements regarding the permit at trial, and instructing jurors to refrain from considering Castile's legal status to carry a weapon, The Star Tribune reported. The judge is giving the state until Wednesday morning to decide whether to agree to take this approach.
Yanez's defense attorneys did not respond Friday to a request for comment. Paulsen said, "Six grams was found in the vehicle but none of it was smoked".
Yanez, 29, entered the courtroom after a brief recess following discussion of the motions. A handful of people of color were among the panel members. His attorneys tried and failed to move the case outside Ramsey County, claiming all the pre-trial publicity makes it impossible for a jury to treat Yanez fairly. The judge also reiterated two rules of law for jury selection - that a complaint is not evidence and Yanez is innocent until the state proves his guilt.
The state has said Reynolds didn't disclose where the marijuana was purchased and that she wasn't asked about it.
Yanez is expected to testify in his defense.
But Paulsen argued that keeping it to five strikes for the defense and three for the prosecution "is the right number".
At meetings with city leaders over the a year ago, many residents said Castile's death came amid a long history of racial profiling of drivers passing through this town.
Thompson says he will be relieved when it's over. "That's irrelevant to the fact that he murdered the cafeteria supervisor".