Yanez trial: Jury asks to re-watch squad, FB video

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KARE 11) -- The jury made a request Tuesday to re-watch both the squad car video and the Facebook Live video of the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, at the hands of Officer Jeronimo Yanez.

Defense attorney Earl Gray gives his closing arguments. (Photo: Nancy Muellner)

The request was made around 9:10 a.m. Tuesday, and the court reconvened shortly after to replay both videos. However, a request by the jury to be given the transcripts of the squad video were denied. The video did have closed captioning.

The last time the jury viewed that video was last Wednesday.

The jury also made a request to view the transcript of the BCA interview conducted with Yanez, however, the judge denied that request because it was never submitted as evidence.

On Friday, the prosecution wanted to submit that transcript as part of the evidence but was denied. Though prosecutors referenced the interview throughout the trial, they chose not to show the interview in court while presenting their case -- presumably to ensure Yanez would take the stand and give an opportunity to be cross-examined.

The judge did not allow them to use any of the BCA interview video during that cross examination.

That BCA interview does show some discrepancies that the prosecution is depending on -- such as Yanez saying he saw an "object" but not definitively saying it was a gun, as he did while on the stand.

The prosecution tried to argue to the judge on Tuesday that the jury should be given access to the transcript, but the defense disagreed. The judge ruled in favor of Yanez's defense team.

While Castile's family waits with the rest of the country for a verdict in this case, they are doing what they can to try and contain protests.

Danny Givens, posted on behalf of the family Tuesday, asking for no protests, rallies or marching until a verdict is in.

MONDAY

The jury has ended its first partial day of deliberations without a verdict in the trial of a police officer who fatally shot a black motorist last year during a traffic stop.

Jeronimo Yanez, a 29-year-old Latino officer, is charged in the July 6 death of Philando Castile. The officer shot the driver five times seconds after Castile told him he was carrying a gun. Castile had a permit for the weapon.

The jury heard closing arguments Monday and deliberated for about a half-day. Jurors will return Tuesday morning.

Assistant Ramsey County Prosecutor Jeff Paulsen began his closing arguments shortly after 10 a.m., describing what he called Officer Yanez's impulsive decision that led to Castile's ultimate death -- one that he said makes him guilty of culpable negligence.

"Officer Yanez used deadly force as a first option rather than a last resort," he told the jury.

Paulsen spent a considerable amount of time questioning why Yanez would say Castile was going for his gun when it made zero sense for him to do so.

"He had no reason to do that. He had every reason not to do that," he said. "It doesn't make sense."

Paulsen went back to the brief conversation Castile had with Yanez that night -- and the fact Castile told him he had a firearm, as the dash camera showed -- as further proof of why it wouldn't make sense for Castile to be motivated to pull it out and use it.

Yanez never said he was sure he saw a gun, until he testified, Paulsen said. In his interview with the BCA, Yanez said, "I know he had an object ... it was dark."

There's just too much doubt to whether or not Yanez saw Castile's gun, Paulsen told the jury.

"You have to be sure before you shoot. He wasn't even close to being sure," he said. "We all know this is a sad case. But it isn't a hard case when it comes to assigning criminal liability."

As Paulsen concluded his closing statements, the judge instructed the jurors that "culpable negligence" is a high level of negligence -- gross negligence coupled with recklessness.

Defense attorney Earl Gray did not pull punches during his closing argument, saying prosecutors had "failed miserably in proving beyond a reasonable doubt."

Gray was more emphatic in his argument, calling the state's argument "unfair," especially their claim that there is zero evidence Castile was pulling out his gun out of his right pocket. The gun was later found in that pocket.

"How did Officer Yanez know that unless he saw it? He knew where the gun was and he described it. How in the world can the State of Minnesota, the prosecution, be so unfair about that statement?" Gray said.

Gray told the jury they "could reasonably infer" that Castile sat in his car and smoked marijuana while Diamond Reynolds, her sister and daughter went inside Cub Foods prior to the shooting.

He told the jury "drugs and guns don't mix," and that Castile being stoned contributed to his failing to follow Offier Yanez's command not to reach for the gun.

Gray asked the jury to give more weight to their use-of-force experts than the prosecution's.

"They had to go to California to find a guy to testify against Officer Yanez," Gray said.

In closing, Gray told the jury, "It's not that hard of a case. Think about it. Think about an officer in that position."

Jurors broke for lunch at 1:10 p.m. and began deliberations after that.