Jury deliberates in trial of former Garland officer

JURY DELIBERATING IN TRIAL OF FORMER OFFICER

Defense attorneys shouted at prosecutors during closing arguments as emotions ran high in the trial of Garland police officer Patrick Tuter, who has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a 2012 police chase. 

Robert Rogers shouted, “Prove your case, Prove your case.”

Defense attorneys were direct. They told the jury that Tuter made split second decisions to save his life and fellow officers lives while dealing with a dangerous felon high on meth.

Defense attorney Toby Shook said, “For more than 30 minutes, he drove the most dangerous ways possible, running lights, stop signs. It was like a missile out there.”

RELATED: Garland officers testify against Tuter in shooting case

Prosecutors say Tuter was reckless when he fired his weapon 41 times.

Defense attorneys say Tuter did what he had to do to stop Michael Allen.

"He starts firing because he was in fear. It took only about 4 seconds to unload his clip," Shook said. 

Prosecutors say the only people in danger and fear for their lives that day were fellow officers who testified they took cover when Tuter started shooting.

Phillip Hayes said, “They were scared. They hid behind their cars. They took cover. Tuter was reckless.”

Prosecutors also put Mesquite investigators on trial. They pointed out the fact that the officers at the scene that night were not questioned.

They also say Tuter was allowed to view dash camera videos, walk around the scene and consult his lawyer and didn’t write his statement until 11 days after the shooting.

Hayes says, “It was a shoddy investigation.”

Both sides played on the emotions of the jurors. Lead Prosecutor Juan Sanchez pointed to the fact that Allen was a father and a son. He pointed to his family in the courtroom. He pleaded with the jury to convict Tuter “Have the courage to do it.”
  
Defense attorneys painted Tuter as a hero who joined the Marines after 2011 and fought for his country. He says Tuter joined the Garland Police Department to protect his community from dangerous people like Michael Allen.

The judge sent the jury to deliberate at about 4:19 p.m. Thursday. 

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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