Minnesota officer charged with murdering black motorist to testify
- Author: Annette Adams Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 4:05
Paulsen further challenged Dutton's assertion that Castile did not comply when he in fact produced the insurance card Yanez had requested and was likely trying to get the driver's license in his wallet when Yanez suddenly shot him.
Part of Yanez's defense was highlighting that THC - the active chemical in marijuana - had been found in Castile's system after his death; therefore, Castile was high during the traffic stop and culpable for his fate.
Yanez testified Friday that he saw Castile's gun and Castile ignored his commands not to pull it out of his pocket. Only 12 will deliberate, with three serving as alternates.
Just where Castile had that gun, and whether or not it could be seen, could determine whether Yanez heads to prison or is set free.
According to the transcripts of the video of the incident, Castile responded by saying, "I'm not reaching for it".
Prosecutor Richard Dusterhoft asked Yanez about a statement to investigators that he saw the barrel of the gun before he fired.
Kapelsohn said it was possible Castile didn't have his hand in or near his pocket at that point.
Yanez has said he had no option but to shoot.
Officer Jeronimo Yanez is on the stand in his trial in the death of Philando Castile. Yanez had pulled the 32-year-old cafeteria worker over because of a faulty brake light, after following him for 2 miles before activating his lights and sirens in July 2016. Once he saw Castile's hand on the gun, Dutton explained that de-escalating the situation was no longer an option.
Yanez said he followed Castile for two miles before he pulled Castile over in a fully marked squad auto.
Yanez says he thought Castile looked like one of the robbery suspects.
He testified Thursday that Yanez followed protocol when he radioed his police partner in another squad auto to tell him about a driver who resembled a suspect in a recent armed robbery. So he had to act fast not knowing if a weapon would be drawn on him.
Yanez is charged in the killing of Philando Castile last July in a St. Paul suburb.
The Star Tribune reports that Yanez testified that he felt his life was in danger when he saw Castile "grab a gun" near his right thigh after he had been ordered not to reach for it. Yanez told the court that visions of his wife and baby girl flashed through his mind. "I can reach in with a couple fingers and pull the gun out right now", Kapelsohn told the jury.
Earlier Friday, a use-of-force expert, Emanuel Kapelsohn, testified for the defense that Yanez was justified to shoot if he believed he saw a gun or that Castile was pulling one.
The Minnesota police officer on trial for the murder of a black motorist during a traffic stop past year, the aftermath of which was streamed on social media by the driver's girlfriend, is expected to say on Friday that he feared for his life.
Officer Jeronimo Yanez is charged with manslaughter in the death of Philando Castile.
Defense attorneys have argued Castile was stoned at the time of the shooting, which happened in the seconds after he informed Yanez that he was carrying a gun. Castile had a permit for the weapon.
Prosecutors have portrayed Castile as being cooperative when he volunteered to Yanez early during the stop, Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me..
He said he reached into the vehicle to try and stop Castile but felt the use of force was necessary, reasonable but ultimately tragic.
The jury also viewed video evidence from the squad vehicle, which recorded Yanez telling a superior officer that he did not know where the gun was. "I told him to take his (expletive) hand off the gun".
"So are you saying that when Officer Yanez said, 'I don't know where the gun was, ' he really did know where the gun was?" In the video, she claimed Castile had informed the officer about the firearm as well as his license to carry.
"It changes the dynamic of the traffic stop", Yanez responded.
"When Roseville police officers arrived you never warned them there was a gun did you?" Kapelsohn was hired by the defense to review the case pending against Yanez and render his opinion.
After following Castile in his marked squad auto for two miles, Yanez discovered Castile had a broken taillight and used the traffic violation as a reason to pull him over to investigate further.
Peregrine Corporation is a firearms and use of force training consulting firm that Kapelsohn formed in 1980.