ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez plead not guilty Monday morning on all charges in the shooting death of Philando Castile before a judge in Ramsey County.
Yanez is charged with second-degree manslaughter and two counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm after shooting and killing Castile during a traffic stop last July in Falcon Heights.
Earlier this month, defense lawyers asked a judge to dismiss the charges, claiming the officer perceived a threat to his life and responded accordingly.
That request was denied by a judge and now, a jury will now decide the fate of the 28-year-old.
Friends of Castile who came to the court hearing today tell WCCO-TV they weren’t surprised by the not guilty plea.
“That’s his right, to plead not guilty. It is what it is, we want everything to be fair and just,” said John Thompson, Castile’s friend.
The trial will begin in exactly three months and three days, on May 30 at 9 a.m. when questionnaires will be given out to potential jurors.
Any pre-trial motions must be submitted to the court by March 14.