A jury is deliberating the fate of a fired Mesquite police officer charged with aggravated assault.
Ex-cop Derick Wiley shot Lyndo Jones twice in the back during a police call.
The jury deliberated for about five hours on Wednesday but did not reach a verdict. There were just a few questions from jurors about some of Wiley’s testimony.
Defense attorney Kathy Lowthorp making one last impassioned plea to the jury on Wiley’s behalf.
“This has got my heart,” she said. “That for all the law-enforcement that’s in this room and not in the room today, the message trying to be sent is don’t defend yourselves officers because you could be in this hot seat right here.”
Prosecutors say Wiley belongs behind bars after shooting Jones twice on November 8 on a suspicious person call in a Mesquite parking lot. The central question for jurors to decide is if Wiley reasonable by using deadly force.
Wiley testified tearfully Monday that he thought Jones had a gun and his life was in danger. Turns out, Jones was unarmed.
“We are not talking about: shoot first, ask questions later. That’s not what our law is,” said prosecutor George Lewis. “That person has to be using or attempting to use deadly force against that individual and we know that that was not the case.”
The defense highlighted Jones’ criminal past and repeatedly drove home his erratic behavior that night. By his own admission, Jones was in the parking lot getting high on marijuana and cocaine when Wiley pulled up. Prosecutors called it victim blaming.
“Why wasn’t that man charged with all the things he did wrong? Instead, he was given immunity. Why? Why are we going after this officer?” asked Lowthorp.
As jurors decide if deadly force was warranted, they must consider what Wiley was facing leading up to the shooting when he ordered Jones out of his truck and the two got into a brief struggle.
“’Get out of the truck.’ He gets out of the truck. ‘Get on the ground.’ He gets on the ground. ‘Put your hands behind your back.’ He put his hands behind his back. I don’t understand,” said prosecutor Bryan Mitchell. “I don’t understand how he’s not complying.”
“This man did not comply,” Lowthorp argued. “Had he complied, this whole thing wouldn’t be here today. That’s what it boils down to — not what the officer did or didn’t do. It’s what that man out there didn’t do: follow the law.”
Jurors will continue deliberating on Thursday.