Fort Worth officer on trial for shooting man with BBQ fork

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The trial for a Fort Worth police officer charged with shooting a man holding only a BBQ fork will continue Wednesday morning.

The jury saw the dash cam footage from the 2015 incident on Tuesday that showed Officer Courtney Johnson shooting Craigory Adams, who at the time was holding a BBQ fork.Craigory Adams, who at the time was holding a BBQ fork.

The jury heard from Adams' niece, who gave a powerful and tearful testimony.

Prosecutors right out of the gate told jurors the shooting was no accident. Testimony centered around the mental stability of Craig Adams. He has since recovered from the gunshot wound and is in a nursing rehab center, but was not in court on Tuesday.

Dash cam video shows Officer Courtney Johnson responding to a prowler call two years ago. Craigory Adams dropped to one knee before he was shot in the arm. He had been holding a barbecue fork, but Johnson believed he was holding a knife.

Johnson is on trial on charges of aggravated assault by a public servant, which is a first degree felony. He still works for the Fort Worth Police Department and is currently assigned to a non-uniform position.

Adams survived his injuries, and Fort Worth police said the shooting was unintentional. His family disagrees.

“The grand jury said aggravated assault by a peace officer. What we know happened was Craigory was shot and he didn’t deserve to be shot,” said the Rev. Kiev Tatum, a spokesman for the family. Adams’ family said he is bipolar.

His niece, Misty Easter, testified that when she got to the scene, an officer told her that her uncle was the aggressor.

“That's what he said to me,” she said. “And I just remember looking at him like what are you talking about?"

Prosecutors said in their opening statements that extensive testing showed the officer’s shotgun did not malfunction.

Defense attorneys chose to delay their opening until the beginning of their case. Johnson's attorneys say the shooting was an accident and caused by a lack of training.

“The chief of police said after he reviewed all this, said looks to me like this is a training incident, an accident and not a criminal offense and we agree with him,” said Johnson’s attorney Jim Lane.

Adams’ family wants a conviction, but will leave it up to the jury to decide what the punishment should be. A conviction could bring a sentence of 5 to 99 years in jail or up to life in prison.

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