By Mary McGuire

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ramsey County judge William Leary says he will know by Wednesday afternoon whether or not he will dismiss charges against the police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile.

St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez was charged with manslaughter last November. The shooting death gained national attention after its aftermath was livestreamed on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend.

Last week, lawyers for Yanez filed documents asking the judge to dismiss the charges against the 28-year-old police officer and on Wednesday morning, Leary heard from both the prosecution and the defense.

Yanez is being represented by criminal defense attorneys Thomas Kelly and Paul Engh. In court Wednesday, Yanez’s defense claimed Castile created his own risk that day by driving a car under the influence of marijuana and that when he was asked to move his hands away from his gun, he did not.

This story is vastly different than the version prosecutors say Yanez told after the shooting when he claimed he did not know where Castile’s gun was exactly when those seven shots were fired.

Where Castile’s gun was located is just one in a number of disputed facts in this case, which is why the prosecution believes it should be sent to a jury to decide whether or not the shooting was justified.

For many of Castile’s friends and family members, Wednesday was the first time they saw Yanez in person.

“I just keep thinking about my friend. I just want the process to play out,” said John Thompson, Castile’s friend.

Yanez is charged with second-degree manslaughter and two counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm. The manslaughter charge carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison in the state of Minnesota.

Comments (7)
  1. “He didn’t know the where-a-bouts of the gun.” Fully explore this statement. He didn’t know where the gun was well after the shooting!!! He knew where it was during the shooting. These charges are a tragic misrepresentation of facts. The media is an enabler for not providing the truth. ENOUGH! The motorist was armed. With his impairment, he knew he faced child endangerment and weapons violation charges. He all know the motorist did not want to go back to jail. Dismiss these charges.

    1. Having trace amounts of THC in your system does make you impaired. Drug test the entire police force. If any of them fail they should be charged with felonies then. He was legally armed as he had his conceal and carry permit.

      1. This is not a forum to advocate your support for M. J. use. Where did you hear “trace amounts” when all official toxicology reports say something totally different? Other videos show the motorist smoking M. J. and drinking in his car. The Officer’s blood was tested. He came back clear of all foreign substances. The driver was in violation of his permit to carry by having an illegal substance in his system (weapons violation under law). The motorist knew this. I’m glad to see the anti-law establishment starting to label the motorists as “armed”.

  2. A gag order is needed on the lawyer too. He is a lair and a player!

  3. Kelly Anne says:

    This case needs to be dismissed so everyone can just move on and let it rest. Too much time and money has been spent on this simple case. Over 10 black people have been killed in Minneapolis and St Paul since then and nothing is being done about those cases because the killings do not serve someone’s political agenda.

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