The fired Mesquite police officer on trial for shooting a man took the stand Monday and cried when he talked about being in fear for his life.
Derick Wiley is charged with aggravated assault by a public servant for the November 2017 shooting of Lyndo Jones.
Wiley was responding to a suspicious person call and found Jones in his own pickup truck with the alarm sounding. Wiley shot Jones twice after a struggle.
For a little over an hour on Monday, Wiley’s attorney had him explain his side of what happened that night. At times, he openly sobbed.
Wiley says when he approached Jones that night, he was still sitting inside his parked truck. The encounter captured on his body camera. He says Jones looked at him, turned around and then started moving around in his vehicle, which alarmed the officer.
Wiley told jurors he thought Jones was going to try to get away or open the door and start shooting. He said Jones at one point called him ‘Boss,’ signaling to him that Jones knew he was an officer.
Once Jones was out of the truck, Wiley said his intention was to handcuff and pat him down, but Jones resisted and they started to struggle.
“It was in a split second. And I told myself, ‘Derick, do not die out here.’ It was that instant moment of fear. I thought I might die out there,” Wiley said. “I wouldn’t have shot that dude if I didn’t think he had no weapon or wasn’t going to try to hurt me. But I didn’t know what he was doing.”
Wiley testified he thought he was shooting a man facing him, not running away. When asked if he would change anything about the whole situation that night, he said no. He said he felt his life was in danger and it was shoot or get shot.
Wiley testified that he thought Jones was armed. He said that he felt his life was in danger, and if he could do the situation over, he would still pull his gun.
"I was basing everything off of what I was seeing and what I felt,” Wiley said. “And at that time, I was thinking he had a gun and was going to attempt to use it on me."
Wiley faces five to 99 years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors will question Wiley on Tuesday during cross-examination.