ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - The trial of St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez is now in the hands of a jury. Closing arguments wrapped up shortly after 1 p.m. Monday.
Yanez is on trial for manslaughter for the July 6, 2016 shooting of Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights. The shooting garnered national attention when Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, streamed the aftermath of the fatal shooting on Facebook Live.
Yanez took the stand in his own defense on Friday afternoon. During his testimony, Yanez became choked up, saying Castile disregarded his instructions and reached for his gun.
The defense team rested after Yanez's testimony.
Prosecution's closing arguments
The prosecution’s closing argument lasted a little less than an hour. Prosecutor Jeff Paulsen told the jury that Officer Yanez never saw a gun, and asked why Castile would pull his gun out.
Paulsen told the jury that Castile had a bullet wound to what would have been his trigger finger, but there was no hole in his pocket or damage to his gun. That would mean Castile trigger finger was out, and not on his gun.
"You can't blame Castile for Yanez not following his own training,” Paulsen said.
Paulsen compared Yanez’s decision to shoot to a texting driver hitting a pedestrian – that it’s reckless, and doesn't matter if the victim was jaywalking.
Defense's closing arguments
In his closing statement, Yanez’s attorney, Earl Gray, told the jury his client believed Castile might be a robbery suspect and that he was stoned and not following orders.
“We’re not saying Philando Castile was going to shoot Officer Yanez,” Gray said. “We’re saying he was stoned and not following orders.”
Philando Castile shooting: The trial of Officer Jeronimo Yanez
DAY 3: Use of force experts testify