WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Latest on a hearing over whether a fired Florida police officer should stand trial for fatally shooting a stranded black motorist (all times local):
A sergeant testified that a fired Florida police officer charged with fatally shooting a stranded motorist had been ordered to wear his police vest during a plainclothes operation.
Palm Beach Gardens Sgt. Javier Garcia testified Tuesday that he told former officer Nouman Raja to wear the vest marked with "police" while he participated in an October 2015 operation aimed at capturing auto burglars.
During that operation, Raja came upon Corey Jones on a darkened highway off-ramp after Jones' SUV broke down. Raja approached Jones wearing a T-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap but not the vest. Prosecutors say Raja never identified himself as a police officer and his disregard of Garcia's order led Jones to pull his licensed handgun, thinking he was about to be robbed. Raja then shot him.
Raja's attorneys are trying to persuade Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer to dismiss manslaughter and other charges, saying Jones' actions made Raja fear for his life.
A detective has testified that a fired Florida police officer charged with fatally shooting a stranded motorist told him a version of events that didn't match the evidence.
Palm Beach County sheriff's Detective Kenny Smith testified Tuesday that former Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja told him hours after the shooting in October 2015 that he told Corey Jones he was a police officer and to "drop the gun" numerous times before he opened fire. But a recording of Jones' call to a tow truck dispatcher that captured the shooting does not show Raja doing either. In the recording, Raja never identifies himself and is heard to open fire after saying "show me your hands."
Raja's attorneys are trying to persuade Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer to dismiss manslaughter and other charges.
A doctor testified a stranded motorist could have run for 15 seconds before collapsing after being shot through the heart by a fired Florida police officer.
Dr. John Marraccini testified Tuesday that Corey Jones also might not have left a blood trail after being shot by former Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja in October 2015.
Raja's attorneys are trying to convince Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer to dismiss manslaughter and other charges, saying Raja feared for his life because Jones pulled his licensed handgun.
Prosecutors say the 40-year-old officer instigated the confrontation because he was working undercover and never identified himself as a police officer, making Jones think Raja was a robber when he approached on a darkened highway off ramp.
The 31-year-old Jones was black and Raja is of South Asian descent.