The attorneys representing officer Jeronimo Yanez in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile filed a motion asking prosecutors to turn over any evidence that their witnesses may be biased or unreliable.
The motion, which does not cite specific incidents of possible bias or directly question an individual’s credibility, asked that a judge order the Ramsey County attorney’s office to comply without arguing the matter in a motion hearing.
The defense also asked for “information known to the government which is favorable to the defense, whether or not technically admissible in court, and which is material to the issues of guilt and/or punishment.”
Yanez, 29, a St. Anthony police officer, was charged Nov. 16 with second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm in the death of Castile, 32, during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights on July 6, and for endangering Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter, who were in the car.
“Basically, you have to request exculpatory material and be specific about it to make your record in case it is not disclosed,” said Earl Gray, one of Yanez’s three attorneys. “So, what we’re doing is we’re pointing out what we believe the state has. … We’re just covering all bases.”
Two motions dated March 10 had been filed by the end of Tuesday.
Fellow defense attorney Thomas Kelly said the defense would be filing several additional motions: a dismissal of the manslaughter count on constitutional grounds, a change of venue to either St. Cloud, Brainerd or Duluth, a motion to exclude testimony from prosecution witness Jeffrey Noble, who is a police procedure expert, and suppression of statements made by Yanez, among other motions.
Kelly declined to further address the pending motions, deferring to the documents once they are filed in court.
Yanez’s attorneys, the third of which is Paul Engh, named Noble in one of their two most recent motions, asking for data on his prior testimony, his contract with the Ramsey County attorney’s office and transcripts of his testimony.
According to the criminal complaint against Yanez, Noble informed prosecutors that Yanez’s action was “not necessary, was objectively unreasonable and was inconsistent with generally accepted police practices.”
A second motion filed with the courts requested evidence from the FBI, U.S. Department of Justice and other government agencies, including statements of Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents “made internally to other agents or supervisors and not produced in the case report.”
Yanez has pleaded not guilty to the charges. A motion hearing is scheduled for April 4, and a trial is set for May 30.