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.