Jurors in Philip Brailsford trial sent home, before opening arguments were made
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The trial for a former Mesa police officer, charged with the murder of a man in a Mesa hotel, got underway on Wednesday.
However, the jurors were sent home, before attorneys could make their opening statements.
Jurors were sent home after a short recess Wednesday afternoon, because the judge in this case didn't come to a decision on whether or not to allow the full body camera footage to be shown, during opening statements.
Brailsford maintains the shooting was justified, because he believed Daniel Shaver was reaching for a gun during the encounter. In the end, no gun was found on Shaver's body.
Brailsford and other officers went to the hotel in January of 2016, on a call that someone was pointing a rifle out a window. The shooting occurred after Shaver exited his hotel room and was ordered to lay face-down in a hallway.
Prosecutors say the shooting wasn't justified. Authorities say Shaver wasn't voicing threats and begged police not to shoot him.
Brailsford was later fired for policy violations.
It was a packed courtroom Wednesday, filled with family and friends of Brailsford, and those of Shaver.
The argument on Wednesday between the defense and the state was in regards to allowing the full unedited version of the body cam footage be shown in the opening statements. The defense argued against it, saying the jury would be tainted and the case would be jeopardized. The state, meanwhile, argued the case is an open case and public record, and the jury wouldn't be affected because they've already been selected.
The victims family unanimously supporting showing the video during opening statements.
The judge said he should have a decision Thursday morning and opening statements should get underway, starting at 10:30.