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Trial of Minnesota police officer heads to jury

Trial of Minnesota police officer heads to jury

The manslaughter trial of a Minnesota police officer who shot and killed a black motorist will resume Monday with closing arguments.

In July 2016, police officer Jeronimo Yanez shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop.

"I didn't want to shoot Mr. Castile at all", said Yanez, saying he was forced to shoot Castile because he was not complying with the officer's commands and was reaching for a gun.

Castile told the officer he had a gun but failed to tell him that he had a permit to carry it, Gray explained to jurors.

Castile's July 2016 killing received worldwide attention when his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was in the auto with her 4-year-old daughter, live-streamed the immediate aftermath on Facebook.

Now, a jury must decide whether Yanez should be convicted of three charges against him: one count of second-degree manslaughter for the death of Castile, and two counts of "intentional discharge of firearm that endangers safety" for shooting into a auto with Reynolds and her daughter inside. The officer's conduct was reasonable, he said. He said Castile disregarded the officer's orders and reached for his gun because he was stoned on marijuana.

Paulsen reminded the jury that a bullet hit Castile in what would have been his trigger finger - but there was no bullet damage around his pocket where he had the gun.

After the shooting, the Facebook Live video showed Yanez keeping his gun aimed at Castile while he waited for backup.

Paulsen said Castile was paying attention and denied reaching for his gun.




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. He also alluded to testimony from defense witnesses who portrayed Yanez as a good and honest man.

Yanez took the stand in his own defense on Friday afternoon.

Gray used his closing argument to tell the jury that Yanez had plenty of justification for shooting.

Gray went on to say that Yanez was traumatized and that "he saw the gun". It will return Tuesday morning to continue deliberating. But a prosecution expert testified there's no way to tell when Castile last smoked marijuana or whether he was high.

"He did what he was supposed to do", the prosecutor said.

Defense Attorney Paul Engh leaves the Ramsey County Courthouse after presenting closing arguments in the case of Jeronimo Yanez in St. Paul, Minn. on Monday, June 12, 2017.

Conviction on the manslaughter charge requires the jury to find Yanez guilty of "culpable negligence", which the judge described in jury instructions as gross negligence with an element of recklessness.

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

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