GREENVILLE, Texas (AP) — A former police officer in a small Texas city was discovered not responsible of homicide Thursday within the slaying of a Black man who supplied a handshake because the officer arrived to answer a name a couple of battle at a comfort retailer.
The Hunt County jury deliberated for greater than 5 hours earlier than acquitting Shaun Lucas of the dying of Jonathan Worth.
Lucas was an officer in Wolfe Metropolis the place Worth, who had performed soccer for Hardin-Simmons College in Abilene, was a metropolis worker, private coach and bodybuilder with desires of beginning his personal health heart. Lucas was charged with murdering Worth the night time of Oct. 3, 2020, and fired from the police pressure 5 days later.
Wolfe Metropolis, about 70 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of Dallas and close to the Texas-Oklahoma border, has a inhabitants of about 1,500 individuals.
It was by no means clear from witness testimony what triggered the battle between Worth and one other man. Nicholas Malone testified that he, his brother and Worth had been ingesting after the funeral of Malone’s father after they determined to go to the comfort retailer to purchase cigarettes. The three lingered on the retailer when Malone heard glass break, and he noticed Worth getting right into a scuffle with one other man.
“My brother and I attempted to drag them aside,” Malone stated, including that the argument went on “for just a few seconds” earlier than the 2 had been pulled aside, and everybody appeared to settle down earlier than Lucas arrived.
When Lucas, who’s white, answered the report of the battle, Worth greeted him with an outstretched hand and an apology for the damaged glass. Lucas determined Worth was drunk and tried to detain him, however Worth resisted. Lucas used a stun gun when Worth approached, then shot Worth when he reached for the stun gun, according to a police affidavit.
Texas Rangers concluded that deadly pressure was not referred to as for within the confrontation since Worth was unarmed. Eleven witnesses on the scene testified that Worth was not offended or aggressive in his reactions, prosecutor Steven Lilley reminded the Hunt County jury in Thursday’s closing arguments.
“He’s useless. He was killed that night time,” Lilley stated of Worth. “If it wasn’t needed, it was homicide. Return and discover him responsible.”
Protection legal professional Robert Rogers contended that Lucas had no alternative however to shoot Worth in self-defense “as a result of he was terrified. That’s the one cause he fired his gun.”.
Lucas had been with the Wolfe Metropolis Police Division for rather less than six months when he shot Worth, based on Texas Fee on Regulation Enforcement data. His prior regulation enforcement expertise had been working as a jailer with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Workplace for about 5 months.