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.
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The trial of Jeromino Yanez, the St. Anthony police officer charged over the fatal shooting of Philando Castile last year, will be held in Ramsey County.

Defense attorneys representing Yanez have for the past two days been arguing for the manslaughter charge against Yanez to be dropped and for the trial to be moved, saying the publicity surrounding the case made it unlikely the officer would get a fair trial in Ramsey County.

Attorneys also cited comments made by Gov. Mark Dayton and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi in relation to the case, which according to WCCO they argued could be intimidating to a jury.

But district court judge William H. Leary III, in a ruling released Thursday afternoon, denied the motion for the trial to be moved and several other motions, including the request to drop the manslaughter charge.

Yanez shot and killed Castile during a traffic stop last July 6, with the aftermath of the shooting live-streamed on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend, who was next to him at the time with her child in the back seat.

Castile, a cafeteria assistant at a St. Paul school, had a firearm on him and a permit to carry, The officer said he believed Castile was reaching for his gun when he fired.

Castile's last words were: "I wasn't reaching for it."

In the wake of the shooting as protesters gathered outside his residence, Gov. Dayton said he believed that race was a factor in Castile's death, coming amid a backdrop of racial tensions nationwide between police and the black community.

The trial is set for May 30.

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