Judge denies Officer Yanez's argument to dismiss manslaughter charges

A Ramsey County district judge denied a motion to dismiss manslaughter charges against the St. Anthony police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile.

The case will continue to trial. The next court date is scheduled for Feb. 27.

During the hearing on Wednesday, both sides argued for about 30 minutes.

Defense attorneys for Jeronimo Yanez believe he should not face charges and claim Castile was reaching for his gun during the traffic stop. They also say Castile disobeyed orders and was "stoned."

Prosecutors say Yanez’s use of deadly force was not justified and that Castile did everything right by obeying commands. They also say he was reaching for his wallet when Yanez shot him several times.

Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a weapon last November in Castile’s death.

After the hearing, the Castile family attorney Glenda Hatchett told Fox 9 "Glad the process is moving forward and we trust that justice will be done."

One of the defense attorneys told Fox 9 "We lost this first battle of a war. We will win in the end."


Castile, 32, was shot and killed by Officer Yanez during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights on July 6. The aftermath of the fatal shooting was broadcast on Facebook Live by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was a passenger in Castile’s vehicle. 

According to the criminal complaint: “Yanez communicated his intent to pull over Castile’s vehicle by radio to St. Anthony Police Officer Joseph Kauser who was on patrol nearby. Yanez told Kauser that he had reason to pull the vehicle over and that the occupants ‘just look like the people that were involved in a robbery.’ Yanez further stated that ‘the driver looks more like one of our suspects just because of the wide set nose.’ Yanez noted that he also had reason to stop the vehicle because it had a non-working brake light. Yanez followed Castile’s vehicle, waiting until Kauser arrived as backup.”


In November, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced his decision to charge Jeronimo Yanez with second-degree man slaughter.