'I didn't want to shoot Mr. Castile,' Yanez says in emotional testimony

'I didn't want to shoot Mr. Castile,' Yanez says in emotional testimony

During the cross examination, Yanez was questioned why he didn't tell the BCA investigators a description of Castile's gun but instead, told an officer who drove him home afterwards.

Squad auto video shows that Yanez said immediately after the shooting he did not know where the gun was, but also claimed that he told Castile to get his hand off of the weapon. He said that was significant because it would have meant Castile had the gun all the way out of his pocket when he was shot.

Yanez explained to jurors that Castile did not make eye contact and was "mumbling" and "talking forward" and "wanted to do what he wanted to do".

"I was able to see the firearm in Mr. Castile's hand, and that's when I engaged him", Yanez told the jury. "I did not want to shoot Mr. Castile".

Closing arguments are set for Monday.

Kapelsohn said tests he conducted showed it would take less than three-tenths of a second to draw a gun like Castile's from a holster in the pocket of shorts like Castile was wearing.

He pointed out that Yanez initially told a supervisor who interviewed him at the scene that he didn't know where the gun was and that he told state law enforcement agents that he saw the barrel of the gun.

Kapelsohn testified that he did a similar experiment in April inside Castile's actual vehicle and testified that the gun was within 1/8 of an inch from the pocket's opening even without pulling it out.

In the minutes after the shooting, Yanez told a supervisor variously that he didn't know where Castile's gun was and that he told Castile to get his hand off it. Dutton said he concluded that Yanez's statements meant that he didn't see the gun at first, but soon saw Castile trying to pull it out of his right pocket.

“We have to look at the totality of the circumstances, ” Mangseth said.

Yanez faces one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of risky discharge of a weapon for his conduct.

St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez stands outside the Ramsey County Courthouse while waiting for a ride on May 30, 2017, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Yanez's defense attorneys also called Emanuel Kapelsohn, a use force expert and president of The Peregrine Corporation, to evaluate Yanez's "reasonableness" in using deadly force against Castile in the July 6, 2016, incident.

Yanez said he pulled Castile's auto over because the driver gave him a "deer in the headlights" look when he drove past. Castile was shot moments after he told Yanez he was carrying a handgun, and prosecutors say Yanez acted unreasonably.

Yanez now says he did in fact see a firearm and its slide.

Castile had a permit for his gun, and prosecutors have sought to portray him as being cooperative when he volunteered to Yanez, "Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me".

Yanez shot Castile five times barely a minute after he approached the auto and Castile informed the officer that he was carrying a handgun. Yanez fired seven shots, hitting Castile five times, including twice in the heart, prosecutors said.

Defense attorneys argued that Castile was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the traffic stop and it affected his responses to the officer's orders.

"I'm not pulling it out", Castile replied as Yanez opened fire.

Castile had a permit to carry his handgun.

An autopsy found traces of THC, the marijuana component that gives a high, in Castile's system. "It's what officers across the country are trained to do in situations like this", Kapelsohn said. He added it would be reasonable to assume Castile's plan was to fire the weapon. Castile can be heard telling the officer: "I'm not pulling it [the gun] out".

Defense attorney Earl Gray said Thursday after court adjourned that St. Anthony Officer Jeronimo Yanez will take the stand Friday afternoon or earlier.

While inside the vehicle Kapelsohn timed how quickly a 9 mm gun could be drawn from those shorts while sitting in the driver's seat, and he testified it took just 3/10 of a second on average.

Then, when Castile told him he had a firearm, Yanez reacted within the bounds of his training when he told him not to reach for "it".

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