Ex-cop acquitted of murder in shooting in tiny Texas town

GREENVILLE, Texas (AP) — A previous law enforcement officer in a little Texas city was discovered not responsible of murder Thursday in the slaying of a Black man who presented a handshake as the officer arrived to reply to a phone about a battle at a ease retailer.

The Hunt County jury deliberated for far more than five several hours right before acquitting Shaun Lucas of the death of Jonathan Value.

Lucas was an officer in Wolfe City the place Value, who had played soccer for Hardin-Simmons College in Abilene, was a metropolis worker, individual coach and bodybuilder with desires of setting up his individual health middle. Lucas was billed with murdering Cost the night time of Oct. 3, 2020, and fired from the law enforcement power five days afterwards.

Wolfe City, about 70 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of Dallas and in close proximity to the Texas-Oklahoma border, has a population of about 1,500 men and women.

It was by no means crystal clear from witness testimony what activated the struggle involving Rate and a further person. Nicholas Malone testified that he, his brother and Price tag had been consuming immediately after the funeral of Malone’s father when they made the decision to go to the convenience retail outlet to get cigarettes. The 3 lingered at the retail outlet when Malone listened to glass crack, and he saw Cost having into a scuffle with one more gentleman.

“My brother and I tried to pull them apart,” Malone claimed, adding that the argument went on “for a few seconds” before the two ended up pulled aside, and all people seemed to quiet down in advance of Lucas arrived.

When Lucas, who is white, answered the report of the combat, Rate greeted him with an outstretched hand and an apology for the broken glass. Lucas decided Price was drunk and experimented with to detain him, but Price tag resisted. Lucas applied a stun gun when Cost approached, then shot Selling price when he reached for the stun gun, according to a police affidavit.

Texas Rangers concluded that lethal force was not named for in the confrontation given that Cost was unarmed. Eleven witnesses at the scene testified that Selling price was not offended or intense in his reactions, prosecutor Steven Lilley reminded the Hunt County jury in Thursday’s closing arguments.

Tale proceeds

“He’s lifeless. He was killed that evening,” Lilley claimed of Price. “If it wasn’t necessary, it was murder. Go again and discover him guilty.”

Defense lawyer Robert Rogers contended that Lucas experienced no choice but to shoot Price tag in self-protection “since he was terrified. Which is the only explanation he fired his gun.”.

Lucas had been with the Wolfe Town Police Division for a very little a lot less than 6 months when he shot Cost, according to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement data. His prior regulation enforcement encounter experienced been doing the job as a jailer with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office for about 5 months.

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