Minnesota officer acquitted in motorist shooting - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Minnesota officer acquitted in motorist shooting

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ST. PAUL, Minn. -

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Latest in the manslaughter trial of a Minnesota police officer who fatally shot a black motorist during a traffic stop (all times local):
    
3:50 p.m.
    
A member of the jury that acquitted a Minnesota police officer of manslaughter in the shooting of a black motorist called deliberations "very, very hard" and says he thinks the panel delivered the right verdict.
    
Dennis Ploussard says the jury was split 10-2 early this week in favor of acquittal for Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who was charged in the death of 32-year-old Philando Castile.
    
Ploussard says jurors spent a lot of time dissecting the "culpable negligence" requirement for conviction. He says the last two holdouts eventually agreed on acquittal.
    
Ploussard wouldn't identify the two holdouts, but says they were not the jury's only two black members.
    
Ploussard declined to say whether he thought Yanez acted appropriately. He says the jury sympathizes with the Castile family.
    
___
    
3:30 p.m.
    
The mother of a Minnesota motorist who was shot dead by a police officer last July says the officer got away with "murder."
    
Valerie Castile spoke angrily after a jury acquitted Officer Jeronimo Yanez of manslaughter in the death of her son Philando. He was shot five times seconds after he informed Yanez during a traffic stop that he was carrying a gun.
    
Yanez testified that Castile ignored his commands not to pull out the gun and he feared for his life.
    
Valerie Castile called her son's death murder. She pointed out her son was wearing a seatbelt and had his girlfriend and her daughter in the car. She says she's "very disappointed in the system here in the state of Minnesota."
    
The jury deliberated five days before reaching its verdict.
    
___
    
3:20 p.m.
    
An attorney for the Minnesota police officer acquitted of manslaughter in the shooting death of a black motorist says the defense team is satisfied with the verdict.
    
Tom Kelly was among attorneys representing Officer Jeronimo Yanez. A jury in St. Paul cleared Yanez of all charges in the death last July of 32-year-old Philando Castile.
    
Kelly says the team was confident in their case and in Yanez, and felt his conduct was justified. He says that "doesn't take away from the tragedy of the event."
    
Yanez shot Castile five times during a traffic stop last July in a St. Paul suburb, seconds after Castile informed him he was carrying a gun.
    
___
    
3:05 p.m.
    
Family members of a black motorist shot dead by a Minnesota police officer last year reacted angrily to the officer being found innocent of manslaughter.
    
Officer Jeronimo Yanez was cleared of that charge and two lesser ones Friday in the death of 32-year-old Philando Castile. Yanez shot Castile five times during a traffic stop last July in a St. Paul suburb, seconds after Castile informed him he was carrying a gun.
    
Castile's mother, Valerie, stood and swore when the jury's verdict was read in St. Paul. His sister and others sobbed loudly. Family members immediately tried to leave the courtroom, and did so after security officers briefly barred their way.
    
___
    
3 p.m.
    
A Minnesota police officer has been acquitted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a black motorist.
    
Jeronimo (yeh-RON'-ih-moh) Yanez was also cleared Friday of two lesser charges in the July traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb. Yanez shot Philando Castile five times just seconds after Castile informed him he was carrying a gun.
    
Yanez testified that Castile was pulling his gun out of his pocket despite his commands not to do so. The defense also argued Castile was high on marijuana and said that affected his actions.
    
Castile had a permit for the weapon. Prosecutors questioned whether Yanez ever saw the gun. They argued that the officer overreacted and that Castile was not a threat.
    
The case garnered immediate attention because Castile's girlfriend streamed the aftermath live on Facebook.
    
___
    
2:15 p.m.
    
A Minnesota jury has reached a verdict in the trial of a police officer charged with manslaughter in the death of a black motorist.
    
Ramsey County court officials say the verdict will be read around 2:45 p.m. Central time.
    
Officer Jeronimo (yeh-RON'-ih-moh) Yanez is charged in the death of 32-year-old Philando Castile.
    
Yanez pulled Castile over for a broken taillight July 6 in a St. Paul suburb. He shot Castile seconds later, after Castile informed him he was carrying a gun.
    
The shooting drew widespread attention and condemnation in part because Castile's girlfriend streamed the gruesome aftermath of the shooting live on Facebook.
    
___
    
1:35 p.m.
    
Defense attorneys for a Minnesota police officer charged with manslaughter in the death of a black motorist say the jury won't deliberate over the weekend if they can't reach a verdict Friday.
    
Officer Jeronimo (yeh-RON'-ih-moh) Yanez is charged in the July 6 death of Philando Castile. The 32-year-old school cafeteria worker was shot seconds after he informed Yanez he was carrying a gun.
    
Attorney Earl Gray told reporters after meeting with the judge Friday afternoon that the jury would be discharged until Monday if they don't agree by day's end.
    
A court spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
    
Yanez testified that Castile disregarded his orders not to pull out his gun. Prosecutors say the 29-year-old Latino officer overreacted.
    
___
    
10 a.m.
    
Jurors considering the fate of a Minnesota police officer who killed a black motorist opened their fifth day of deliberations by asking to have the officer's entire testimony re-read to them.
    
Judge William Leary told jurors Friday that he was denying the request. He said the reasons were unimportant, and he sent them back to work.
    
Officer Jeronimo Yanez is charged with manslaughter in the death of Philando Castile. Yanez shot Castile during a traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb after Castile informed the officer he was carrying a gun. Castile had a permit for the firearm.
    
Yanez has testified that Castile ignored his commands not to pull out the gun and he feared for his life. Prosecutors argue he overreacted to a man who wasn't a threat.
    
___
    
12:05 a.m.
    
Jurors weighing the fate of a Minnesota police officer who killed a black motorist last July are headed into their fifth day of deliberations.
    
Officer Jeronimo (yeh-RON'-ih-moh) Yanez is charged with manslaughter in the death of Philando Castile. Yanez shot Castile during a traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb after Castile informed the officer he was carrying a gun. Castile had a permit for the firearm.
    
Deliberations resume Friday morning.
    
On Wednesday, the apparently deadlocked jury was summoned to court by the judge and told to keep deliberating. Thursday's deliberations passed quietly.
    
Yanez testified Castile was pulling the gun out against his instructions and he feared for his life. Prosecutors insist Yanez never saw a gun and had plenty of options short of shooting Castile.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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