Murder Trial To Begin For Officer Who Shot Man

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A former Arizona police officer who shot and killed a man in 2016 is due to go on trial for murder in Maricopa County.

Opening statements in the trial of Philip Brailsford, 26, are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 25.

Brailsford was one of the officers who responded to a call about a man pointing a gun out of a hotel room window in January 2016, reports AZ Central.

Daniel Shaver, a pest-control worker, was showing a pellet gun to two people in his hotel room while they were drinking together.

When police arrived, they ordered Shaver out of the room and onto his hands and knees. One of the officers ordered him to cross his legs, but then Shaver uncrossed them when he was asked to move.

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"I said keep your legs crossed," said Officer Charles Langley, according to The Associated Press.

At another point, Shaver put his hands behind his back, expecting to be handcuffed.

"You do that again, and we're shooting you. Do you understand?" the officer said.

"Please, do not shoot me," Shaver responded.

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The officers then told Shaver to crawl toward them. But at one point, Shaver reached for the waistband of his shorts, a move police allege looked like he had a weapon.

Brailsford then shot and killed Shaver.

Brailsford was fired from the police department in March 2016 after it was determined the shooting was inappropriate.

Brailsford's lawyer argued things would be different if Shaver did have a gun on him.

"Officer Brailsford would be congratulated for his conduct in saving lives by engaging the same conduct that now has him facing decades in prison," Brailsford's attorney Michael Piccarreta told AP. "However, if one thing is clear, it is that Officer Brailsford cannot be punished for not knowing what was simply unknowable to him and the other officers at the time."

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery insisted in 2016 that his office would treat the case as it would any other murder trial.

In arguments before Judge George Foster on Oct. 24, Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Susie Charbel appealed for the right to show a body cam video of the confrontation between the officers and Shaver during her opening argument. Foster said that he may allow her to show an edited version.

"Showing this video over and over again, it's like showing gory pictures," Foster said. "After a while, it becomes prejudicial, and the court is sensitive to that issue."

Piccarreta argued for the judge to allow him to inform the jury that Shaver had a handgun in his truck when he was shot. Foster ruled that this was irrelevant to the case. Charbel pointed out that the weapon belonged to Shaver's father-in-law and that Shaver did not know the combination code.

Sources: AP via Las Vegas Sun, AZ Central / Featured Image: Pixabay/ Embedded Images: Klaus with K/Wikimedia Commons, Mesa0789/Flickr

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