The St. Anthony police officer charged with killing Philando Castile is scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon for his second hearing in the case.

Jeronimo Yanez, 28, is expected to appear for a 1:15 p.m. omnibus hearing, during which guilty or not guilty pleas are typically entered.

However, one of his attorneys, Thomas Kelly, said Yanez would not be entering any pleas Monday, nor would attorneys address a motion by the defense to dismiss the case. Kelly said that Yanez wouldn’t enter any pleas until a later date when a trial judge has been assigned to the case.

“All that will happen Monday is that we will be referred to … the judge that will handle the case,” Kelly said. “It’s really more of a scheduling appearance than anything else.”

The move is not unusual, but neither is it exceptionally common in Ramsey County District Court, where Yanez faces three felony charges — second-degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm.

“It happens a lot if it’s a complicated case,” Kelly said of the plea delay. “They want the judge that’s going to handle it eventually at trial to handle it for all of the pretrial proceedings instead of splitting it between judges.”

Yanez was charged Nov. 16 with fatally shooting Castile, 32, during a July 6 traffic stop in Falcon Heights.

Yanez’s attorneys filed a motion Wednesday to dismiss the case, claiming that Castile’s actions and marijuana use contributed to his death. One of his three attorneys, Earl Gray, wrote that Castile created “unreasonable risk” and took chances that caused his death.

The prosecution has not filed a response to the motion. County attorney spokesman Dennis Gerhardstein said Friday that his office would not comment on the motion because the case is pending.

Kelly said the motion would be discussed at a later court hearing.

 

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