ST. PAUL, Minn. - The trial of St. Anthony Police officer Jeronimo Yanez was adjourned for the day after just two hours Tuesday, but not before some legal maneuvering that could keep jurors from hearing that Philando Castile, the motorist fatally shot during a July traffic stop, had a legal permit to carry a weapon.
Attorneys for Yanez made the motion while potential jurors were in orientation, preparing for the selection process. Defense attorneys asked Judge William Leary III to edit out a reference on the Facebook Live video shot by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, that refers to him being in possession of a gun with a legal permit to carry it. The defense argued that Castile's status to carry a weapon is not relevant to the charges since Yanez had no knowledge whether Castile had a permit or not when he fired the fatal shots.
KARE 11 reporter Lou Raguse says prosecutors seemed to be ok with the motion, as long as jurors would be instructed not to consider whether or not Castile had a permit. Judge Leary took the matter under advisement.
The judge did deny a second defense motion to allow them to go back and question Reynolds about where she and Castile bought marijuana they allegedly smoked the day of the fatal shooting. Prosecutors claim Castile did not smoke pot that day, but the Yanez defense team says they can't verify that if the drug dealer isn't questioned.
After a quick break, potential jurors were brought into court shortly after 9:30 a.m. to begin the selection process. Of the 50 that were ushered into the courtroom, 5 of 50 appear to be African American and several more could be considered non-Caucasian.