*The judge in the criminal case against police officer Jeronimo Yanez in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, has decided it will proceed to trial after defense attorneys’ attempt to dismiss the charges were denied.
Ramsey County District Judge William H. Leary III noted in his decision that that using a victim’s behavior to justify a defendant’s actions isn’t fool-proof, per the Star Tribune. The judge also found that there was enough probable cause to move forward with the case.
Leary wrote that Yanez’s argument that Castile’s behavior clears him of his actions “fails because a victim’s unreasonable conduct is never an absolute defense to a criminal charge.”
He also added that evidence in the case as interpreted by prosecutors could be enough for a jury to find Yanez guilty.
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Defense attorneys believe charges against Yanez should be dropped because Castile put himself at risk by disobeying police orders and allegedly being high on marijuana.
An omnibus hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27, and one of Yanez’s three attorneys, Earl Gray, said his client would enter not guilty pleas at that time.
“It’s difficult to get a judge to dismiss on probable cause, but this is just the first round,” Gray said, “and we’re quite confident that once this case goes to trial, officer Yanez will be totally exonerated.”
“I can assure you that we’re going to have experts at trial that we’ve already worked with — that have already looked at this — and they will testify without hesitation that what officer Yanez did was clearly reasonable and justified and authorized use of force on his part.”