Former Police Officer Guilty of Manslaughter
2 years ago by Brian
Those convicted of manslaughter in Minnesota face a sentence of up to 15 years in prison for first-degree convictions and ten years for second-degree. Anyone facing this charge needs an aggressive criminal defense lawyer on their side.
The Minneapolis police officer who was charged with the shooting death of 20-year-old African American man Daunte Wright has been convicted of manslaughter. The now-former officer Kim Porter raised as her defense that she confused her handgun for a teaser in the fatal shooting.
However, the prosecution proved otherwise at trial and secured the conviction, which was received with celebration by Daunte Wright’s family and supporters outside the courthouse.
Details of the Trial and Verdict
Porter, who is white, was convicted by a mostly white jury, which deliberated for about 27 hours over four days before finding Porter guilty of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter. Porter, 49, now faces about seven years in prison under Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines, but she may face a longer-term if the prosecution gets its way.
The prosecution has told the presiding judge they intend to seek a longer-term and will make that case during the sentencing hearing, which has been scheduled for February 18, 2022.
Meanwhile, denying a request by Porter’s lawyer to let Porter remain free pending sentencing, Judge Regina Chu ordered Porter to be taken into custody and held without bail pending sentencing. Porter has been free on bond since the day she was charged but is now in custody.
Porter’s case was the second high-profile conviction of a police officer this year. The team included some of the same attorneys who assisted in the trial and conviction of Derek Chauvin in George Floyd’s death that caused a nationwide uproar and demand for justice and police reforms.
Wright was killed while Chauvin trial was taking place not far away, and though not as widespread and nationwide as the Floyd killing, Wright’s killing also set off angry protests outside the police station in Brooklyn Center, where protestors demanding “Justice for Daunte” clashed with police officers in riot gear for several nights.
Porter shot and killed the 20-year-old Wright during an April 11 traffic stop in Brooklyn Center – ostensibly in efforts to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant for a weapons possession charge. Porter repeatedly said she would tase him, but instead of tasing him, she shot him once in his chest with her gun, which was in her hand when she repeatedly said she would tase Wright.
Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Erin Eldridge said that Porter’s actions were unreasonable because a “reasonable person” knows “you don’t blindly pull your weapon, pull the trigger, without being aware of the risk.”
The prosecutor added that “an accident is still a crime” if the defendant’s actions are reckless or culpably negligent.”
Speak with a Woodbury, MN Violent Crimes Attorney
While most manslaughter cases do not have as much attention as the Kim Porter trial did, there are still severe punishments on the line for anyone convicted of violent offenses. It is critical that anyone arrested hires an experienced lawyer who defends against charges involving violence. Protect your future with help from JS Defense – contact us today.