ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Ramsey County jury hearing the case of St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez’ fatal shooting of Philando Castile has cleared him of all charges.
KARE 11 reports that the 12 member jury cleared Yanez of one count of manslaughter, and two counts of dangerous discharge of a weapon.
The two charges of dangerous discharge of a weapon stemmed from the close proximity of Castile’s girlfriend Diamond Reynolds and her daughter to the gunfire. Yanez had fired seven rounds in quick succession as he believed Castile had been reaching for a weapon.
Family members of Castile and their supporters left the courtroom in tears, according to KARE11. Castile’s mother also reportedly yelled an expletive the moment the decision was announced.
“He [Yanez] shot into a car with no regard with human life, and that’s okay,” Castile’s mother Valerie said in a press conference streamed live by KARE 11 after the verdict. “Thank you Minnesota. Thank you Minnesota, that’s all I have to say.”
Castile’s mother ended her remarks by stating that Yanez may have gotten off on earth, but he would have to answer to a higher power, telling the media that she hoped Yanez died tonight to meet his creator.
The trial lasted two weeks, and jurors deliberated for 29 hours spread out over five days, reports CNN.
Defense attorneys argued Castile’s disclosure he possessed a weapon, and failure to state he had a permit, plus his drug usage, made him culpable in his own shooting, reports the Star Tribune.
The City of St. Anthony issued a statement following the decision stating that Yanez would no longer serve as a police officer in the city of St. Anthony and that they would help him transition out of a life in law enforcement.