Skip to main content

Attorneys: Officer Yanez saw Philando Castile's gun before shooting

Yanez is due in court next week.

Jeronimo Yanez's defense attorneys now say the officer saw Philando Castile's gun before he fatally shot him during a traffic stop, according to documents filed in Ramsey County District Court.

Yanez, an officer with the St. Anthony Police Department, was charged with manslaughter in connection to 32-year-old Castile's July 6 death. His attorneys argue Yanez did everything correctly when he pulled Castile over, and his actions were justified because Castile reached for his gun, the memo says.

According to the memo, Yanez described what the gun looked like in a statement the day after the shooting, with the defense noting the gun that fell out of Castile's pocket matched the description Yanez gave.

The charges filed against Yanez in November include accounts of interviews he gave right after the shooting.

He told a fellow St. Anthony police officer he ordered Castile not to reach for the gun, but noted Castile “had his, his grip a lot wider than a wallet." Yanez also said he didn't know where the gun was, but was nervous.

The next day he told a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Castile had turned his body in the car and Yanez couldn't see what he was doing with his hand.

"It was dark inside the vehicle. I was trying to fumble my way through under stress to look and see what it was to make sure uh what I was seeing. … But I, I know he had an object and it was dark. … And as he was pulling it out I, a million things started going through my head. And I thought I was gonna die," Yanez said.

The 13-page memo also argues against the state's case that Yanez incorrectly conducted the traffic stop. You can read the memo here.

The defense filed a motion in December to get the case against Yanez dismissed, and prosecutors in January filed a rebuttal to that motion. The memo filed Tuesday was in response to the state's rebuttal.

A judge will rule on the defense's dismissal request on Feb. 15, the Pioneer Press notes.

Next Up

Jaelyn Campbell

11-year-old girl missing from Mille Lacs County

Jaelyn Campbell was last seen in Onamia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 1.58.08 PM

2 ejected, 1 killed in crash that closed southbound I-35

The State Patrol says neither were wearing seat belts.

best buy

Best Buy makes job cuts weeks after warning of soft sales

The Richfield retailer has been dealing with a shift in consumer trends.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.26.20 PM

Man makes 'vague comments' about Jewish people, smashes own car with club

It happened at a course that was founded as a Jewish country club 100 years ago.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 9.59.07 PM

4 abandoned puppies found in a bucket in Willmar

The puppies were in good health when they were discovered.

Minneapolis police

Suspect of home invasion, murder in Minneapolis arrested in Wisconsin

There have been 57 deaths reported as homicides in Minneapolis this year.

Carson McCoy

Charges: Man stole handgun from house, fired at motorcyclists from car

A chaotic scene that led to a police chase unfolded after an alleged burglary in Ham Lake.

Mounds view 7 - crime scene

BCA's Uniform Crime Report shows violent crime in MN spiked in 2021

The report details violent crime trends in the seven-county metro and Greater Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 4.49.22 PM

Search for vulnerable man, 66, missing from Brooklyn Park

Alex Ramirez was last seen in the early hours of Thursday morning.

St. Cloud Times

St. Cloud Times writing staff hit by Gannett budget cuts

Mass layoffs were expected at Gannett-owned outlets across the country.


Pool company sued by AG for allegedly scamming homeowners out of $1M-plus

According to the lawsuit, 17 Minnesota homeowners were affected by this scam.


Officer Yanez will go to trial in Philando Castile case

Yanez's attorneys filed a motion to try to get the case dismissed.

Dashcam video from the Philando Castile shooting

The video released Tuesday is graphic. It was shown to the jury during the Jeronimo Yanez trial.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez's trial begins in shooting death of Philando Castile

This is believed to be the first time a Minnesota officer has been prosecuted for shooting a person while on duty.

Jeronimo Yanez found not guilty in Philando Castile's death

Jurors deliberated for five days before reaching a unanimous decision.

Officer who shot Philando Castile is charged with manslaughter

Officer Jeronimo Yanez is being charged for shooting and killing Philando Castile.

Trial of officer who fatally shot Philando Castile won't be moved

Attorneys for officer Jeronimo Yanez argued he couldn't get a fair trial in Ramsey County.