CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the trial of Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald (all times local):
A white Chicago police officer has decided to stick with a jury trial rather than have a judge decide whether he’s guilty of murder in the 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.
Jason Van Dyke’s decision came Friday. It was the deadline Judge Vincent Gaughan set for Van Dyke to say whether he wanted to switch to a bench trial in which the judge would have decided the officer’s fate. Opening statements are planned for Monday, though the judge still must decide on a defense request to move the trial outside of Cook County, where Chicago is located.
The court vetted and selected 12 jurors and five alternates during the week. But defense attorney Daniel Herbert said Van Dyke didn’t necessarily want the current jurors.
Video shows Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times as the teen seems to be walking away from police with a knife in his hand. It will be one of the centerpieces at the trial.
Defense attorneys are expected to announce if they want a jury or a judge to hear the murder trial of a Chicago police officer who fatally shot Laquan McDonald.
The last of the 12 jurors were selected Thursday along with five alternates. Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan told Jason Van Dyke’s lawyers to return to court on Friday to say if they want him or a jury to decide the case.
The officer’s attorneys have said that they don’t think Van Dyke can get a fair trial in Cook County because of media coverage of the 2014 shooting. Dashcam video shows the white officer shooting McDonald 16 times as the black teenager walks away from police with a knife in his hand.
Opening statements are expected to begin Monday.
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