The Latest: Prosecutor: Officer planted gun after shooting
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the murder trial of former St. Louis police officer charged with (all times local):
A prosecutor has accused a white former St. Louis police officer of planting a gun on a black man whom the officer had fatally shot.
An attorney for former officer Jason Stockley denied that allegation during opening statements Tuesday in the officer’s first-degree murder trial in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith. The defense attorney says Stockley was protecting himself from an armed and dangerous felon.
Smith was shot following a police chase during a drug investigation on Dec. 20, 2011. A key issue is a gun found in Smith’s car. Assistant Circuit Attorney Aaron Levinson said Stockley’s DNA — but not Smith’s — was on the gun. He says Stockley “executed” the 24-year-old Smith and planted the weapon.
But defense attorney Neil Bruntrager said Stockley fired the fatal shots only after Smith refused to put up his hands and appeared to be reaching for the gun.
Video from a police dashboard camera and witnesses, along with DNA evidence, are expected to play a big role as a white former St. Louis officer goes to trial for killing a black suspect in 2011.
Opening statements are planned Tuesday for 36-year-old Jason Stockley. He’s charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. Charges were filed last year after then-Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce cited unspecified new evidence.
The bench trial is expected to last two weeks.
Smith was shot following a police chase during a drug investigation. A key issue is a gun found in Smith’s car. Police say Stockley’s DNA — but not Smith’s — was on the gun, and Smith’s supporters have accused Stockley of planting the weapon.