Cook dinner County Decide Vincent Gaughan heard almost two dozen motions from Van Dyke’s protection attorneys to bar potential proof and testimony the protection stated may very well be prejudicial, together with referring to McDonald’s dying as a murder.
Prosecutor Jody Gleason argued Van Dyke is charged with first-degree homicide, and there’s a sufferer within the case. However Gaughan stated there may be somebody who’s lifeless but it surely’s as much as the jury to determine whether or not McDonald was a sufferer.
“Right here we now have the protection of self-defense. So, if it is justified, justified use of drive, then there isn’t any sufferer,” Gaughan stated. “Actually, there’s a person who’s lifeless on account of this tragic scenario however that does not imply that the particular person is a sufferer legally.”
Gaughan stated prosecutors might use the time period sufferer in closing arguments “if the proof helps it.”
CNN chief authorized analyst Jeffrey Toobin stated the decide’s resolution to bar use of the phrase “sufferer” is odd however most likely not unprecedented.
“The primary difficulty within the case is whether or not McDonald was a ‘sufferer’ or a risk to the officer. The decide might conclude that use of that phrase is prejudicial to the defendant. Many judges would see it otherwise, however I see his level,” Toobin stated in an e mail.
Toobin stated he did not foresee the omission of the phrase affecting the prosecution’s case.
“The jury will perceive that its job is to guage whether or not the capturing was justified,” Toobin stated.
Gaughan additionally dominated the prosecution might use the phrase murder in courtroom. He stated forensic pathologists outline murder as dying by one other particular person.
Particular Prosecutor Joseph McMahon stated murder is “a particular discovering of the health worker and the defendant is charged with first-degree homicide.”
He argued the phrase “is just not so loaded that it is unfairly prejudicial.”
Van Dyke is white, and McDonald was black.
Van Dyke jumped out of his car and pulled his gun, firing at McDonald six seconds after arriving on the scene. Van Dyke continued to shoot, unloading each spherical from his gun in 15 seconds.
The video additionally appeared to point out McDonald’s physique being hit by bullets after he was on the bottom. All 16 bullets struck McDonald.
After the incident, Van Dyke stated he opened hearth after McDonald lunged at him, “swinging the knife in an aggressive, exaggerated method,” and ignored the officer’s orders to drop the knife. He stated McDonald continued to know the knife, pointing it at him, as he tried to rise up from the bottom.
Officers stated McDonald’s accomplice and 4 different officers backed up his account, saying McDonald refused officers’ orders and continued to advance towards them, waving the knife.
After town’s objections, 400 days after the incident, the dashcam video was launched to the general public, when a decide ordered its launch in November 2015.
The capturing led to reforms and fueled a nationwide dialog about police use of lethal drive.
Gaughan on Wednesday denied a protection movement to suppress the dashcam video of the capturing. McMahon argued it’s “a central piece of proof.”
“Actually, you are going to be allowed to play the dashcam video,” Gaughan stated.
If convicted, Van Dyke might resist life in jail.
CNN’s Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.