Verdict reached Minnesota officer's trial

Officer Jeronimo Yanez Found Not Guilty in Death of Philando Castile

Officer Jeronimo Yanez Found Not Guilty in Death of Philando Castile

Yanez is charged with one count of second-degree manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights last summer.

The jury reached its verdict of not guilty on the manslaughter charge as well as the two counts of risky discharge of a firearm Friday afternoon after about 30 hours of deliberations.

When Yanez pulled over the 32-year-old school cafeteria manager, who was in the auto with Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter, Castile told Yanez that he had a gun with him and was licensed to carry it, according to prosecutors.

The jury of seven men and five women, 10 of whom were white and two of whom were black, sided with the officer after deliberating more than 25 hours spanning five days, acquitting Yanez on all charges.

The community is deeply disappointed with the jury's verdict in the trial of Jeronimo Yanez for the death of Philando Castile and endangerment of Diamond and Dae'Anna Reynolds.

Prosecutors have portrayed Yanez as a nervous officer who lost control of the traffic stop that day.

Prosecutors said Yanez was not justified in firing his gun, saying Castile was courteous and non-threatening.

Yanez was reportedly told that Castile had a license to carry a gun, with the officer claiming that Philando began to take the gun out to show him against Yanez's directions. With Castile's hand on his gun, Yanez said he had to act.

Yanez did not tell Castile about the robbery suspicions, only that his brake light was out.

Yanez's defense attorneys also maintained that Castile was high at the time of the shooting.

"He didn't deserve to die the way he did", Philando Castile's sister, Allysza, said, through tears.

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"Shots fired", Yanez told police dispatch.

"This incident seemed so egregious", she said in a statement, "That we hoped that this time. justice might be served". Mr Yanez is seen with his gun drawn and pointed at him through the window. Castile's last words, spoken to Yanez after he'd been shot, were, "I wasn't reaching for it".

Yanez had testified that he was afraid for his life and that Castile did not follow his orders.

One such case involved Ray Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati police officer.

While Yanez's squad-car video shows the shooting from a distance, there's no video showing exactly what happened in the vehicle or what Yanez saw.

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. The statement says the city plans to offer him a "voluntary separation" so he can find another job.

From that moment, the case hinged largely on conflicting accounts of what Castile was doing before he was shot.

UPDATE: Shortly after the jury announced its verdict, the City of St. Anthony announced Yanez would no longer be employed as a police officer there.

Castile was licensed to carry a gun and was recorded on a dashboard camera video calmly telling Yanez that he had a weapon in the vehicle.

Ploussard wouldn't identify the two holdouts, but said they were not the jury's only two black members.

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