Jury deliberating in fired Mesquite police officer's retrial

After hearing a week of testimony from witnesses, the aggravated assault trial of a fired Mesquite police officer is now in the hands of the jury.

Derick Wiley shot Lyndo Jones twice in the back in 2017 after a struggle while trying to detain Jones, who was unarmed. Wiley's first trial ended in a mistrial when the jury could not come to a unanimous verdict.

Both sides wrapped up closing arguments on Friday, and the jury began deliberating whether or not Wiley should go to prison for shooting Jones.

The prosecution started their closing arguments saying the case is not about supporting police officers or not. They said it is about justice and accountability for Wiley's actions that night.

Prosecutors stressed that Jones was unarmed and did not pose a threat to Wiley's life and was begging for his life not to be shot.

Meanwhile, the defense said Jones was reaching for Wiley's gun and was a danger to Wiley. Defense attorneys also brought up the immediate uproar that followed the initial shooting.                 

"The civil rights activists went after them," said defense attorney Kathy Lowthorp. "That's when they found out because they watched the video. It's a white officer. No, it's a black officer. Takes the sting out of this whole thing. This wasn't about race. It was about behavior that evening."

"Sending a verdict of guilty in this case does not send a message you are anti-police. It has nothing to do with police in general. It has nothing to do with this police department," said prosecutor Jason Fine. "It has to do with this defendant breaking the law and being held accountable."

Wiley's first trial ended with a hung jury after 10.5 hours of deliberation and was split 8-4 in favor of acquittal.

The judge dismissed the jury Friday just after 8 p.m. for the weekend. They will return on Monday at 9 a.m.