CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Kanawha County jury returned a responsible verdict on the cost of second diploma homicide within the case of Joshua Phillips Monday afternoon within the December 2020 taking pictures demise of Charleston police officer Cassie Johnson.
The panel deliberated for components of three days earlier than saying its verdict Monday afternoon. The jury additionally discovered Phillips responsible of a easy drug possession cost.
Prosecutors pushed for a primary diploma homicide conviction the place Phillips would have confronted life in jail. He’ll now face 10-40 years in jail for second diploma homicide.
The solely query the jury requested throughout its three days of deliberating the case was for a further laptop computer pc to view the video of the altercation between Phillips and Johnson on Garrison Avenue in Charleston on Dec. 1, 2020. Officer Johnson was dispatched there to reply a parking criticism.
Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt reacts to the decision within the trial.
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The protection maintained the taking pictures was self-defense and was not premediated, a part that’s required to seek out an individual responsible of first-degree homicide. The prosecution hung out in the course of the trial explaining that premeditation didn’t should be a protracted time period. The jury opted for second diploma homicide which doesn’t require premeditation.
The incident was captured on Johnson’s physique digicam and dashboard digicam from her police cruiser. The footage was introduced to the jury final week.
The jury additionally considered mobile phone video taken by Charleston resident Michael Oesterreicher that confirmed Johnson laying face down within the floor after being shot.
Much of final week’s testimony got here from Charleston cops who described bullet casings discovered on the scene and medical doctors who mentioned Johnson’s situation when she arrived on the hospital. She died two days later.
State Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Allen Mock mentioned Johnson died of a single gunshot wound to the neck. The gunshot result in extreme bleeding and vital injury to her spinal wire.
Defense attorneys John Sullivan and Ronni Sheets mentioned throughout closing arguments Phillips feared for his life, however Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutors Don Morris and Michele Drummond mentioned Phillips resisted arrest and “feared going to jail.”
Additional physique digicam footage from Cpl. Brandon Rinehart confirmed officers pinning Phillips down whereas they punched and kicked him. Rinehart testified it was “to gain more control” since Phillips didn’t adjust to their instructions.
Phillips’ attorneys declare Officer Johnson was “the first aggressor.” The prosecution believes Johnson was simply making an attempt to do her job as a police officer.
Kanawha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey will sentence Phillips at a later date.
This is a creating story and will probably be up to date.