Richard Chrisman's defense presents its case - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Richard Chrisman's defense presents its case

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PHOENIX -

Former Phoenix Police Officer Richard Chrisman has been charged with murder in the death of a suspect he shot and killed while on duty. Today his attorneys got their first chance to tell his side of the story.

Defense attorneys are trying to prove Chrisman only shot in self-defense.

But the other officer on scene that day testified there was no need for Chrisman to shoot an unarmed man.

Now the defense is trying to prove that officer wasn't even in the trailer when the shooting happened.

Taser expert and defensive tactics instructor Lon Bartel was called to the stand Monday. The defense was mostly trying to poke holes in Officer Sergio Virgillo's story.

Bartel claims domestic violence calls where officers go into a suspect's home are some of the most dangerous types of calls.

"There's always that risk of confrontation or conflict so there's always that risk of some type of fight," testified Bartel.

Bartel also testified there were weapons inside of Rodriguez's trailer.

He wasn't there when Daniel Rodriguez was shot or involved in the investigation, but by looking at crime scene photos, Bartel says he saw a hunting bow and a throwing knife inside of the trailer.

Bartel testified bullet proof vests do not protect officers against a bow and arrow.

"Ballistic vests can stop bullets. We're not talking about a bullet we're talking about an arrow and a vest cannot reliably stop an arrow. Many tests have been done and compound bows can actually zip through many levels of ballistic protection."

Bartel also looked at the pictures of Officer Virgillo's Taser, found outside of the trailer. Virgillo says he wasn't outside the trailer when he fired his Taser at Rodriguez. But Bartel says the Taser will release small round colored tags that can accurately show where a Taser was fired.

Bartel's testimony will continue Tuesday. We're told Chrisman will take the stand to defend himself, but we're not sure when that'll happen.

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