Detective, use of force expert testify in ex-Mesquite officer's second shooting trial

Wednesday's testimony ended for the day in the re-trial of a fired Mesquite police officer who shot an unarmed man.

Derick Wiley was on duty, investigating a suspicious person call, when he shot Lyndo Jones twice in the back during a confrontation.

The first trial ended in a hung jury, 8-4 in favor of acquittal.

The state is still presenting its case.

Wiley has not yet testified. He will take the stand after the state has rested its case.

On Wednesday, the jury heard from two witnesses who testified in the first trial, and they have very different interpretations of what happened during the officer-involved shooting, and if Wiley acted reasonably when he used deadly force.

Mesquite PD Detective Brent Ehrenberger was back on the witness stand to be questioned by Derick Wiley's defense attorney.

Ehrenberger testified about Wiley's actions the evening of November 8, 2017, when he confronted Lyndo Jones, who was sitting in his truck, getting high.

Wiley tearfully testified in his first trial in September that he thought his life was in jeopardy when he opened fire, shooting Jones twice in the back.

[LAWYER: "Was Derick, in your opinion, acting reasonable?"] "Based on his explanation of events, I believed that he was," Ehrenberger said.

Ehrenberger went on to testify he believes at one point in the confrontation, Wiley was unable to see if Jones had a gun in his left hand, and made a conclusion from watching the body camera video.

"I seen Mr. Jones arms up towards the area of Officer Wiley's gun belt," he testified.

Ehrenberger said he told the district attorney's office he believed it was a reasonable use of force, but also felt the DA at the time did not take his opinion into consideration.

The case was then referred to a grand jury for indictment.

[LAWYER: "Do you feel that this case was rushed?"] "I never had one of my cases or one of my investigations go to a grand jury hearing within 20 days of the incident," Ehrenberger replied.

But the jury heard a very different story from the final state witness, use of force expert Jonathyn Priest.

"Certainly, I reviewed all the documents, but I watched the video, and based on my background, my training, and my experience, the shooting was unreasonable," Priest testified.

Priest said that after reviewing case materials, Wiley never mentioned Jones was attempting to use deadly force.

He says Wiley should have waited for back up and never tried to de-escalate the situation.

In fact, he added that Wiley's actions may have had the opposite effect.

"I think by Officer Wiley approaching the vehicle, in what appears to be a very aggressive stance, created an environment where bad things can occur," Priest said.

It is believed that the objective is to get this case to the jury by Friday morning. They may stay late into the evening Thursday to make sure that happens.