MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Kim Potter trial has entered the second week of testimony.
The former Brooklyn Center police officer is charged with manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright during a traffic stop last April. She says she meant to use her Taser, not her gun.
The prosecution is calling more witnesses to the stand Monday morning, with an assistant medical examiner expected to walk jurors through Wright’s autopsy.
Below are updates, beginning with the latest.
UPDATE (11:20 a.m.): The state’s next witness is BCA agent Brent Peterson. He is testifying about his review of relevant body camera video in the case.
Prosecution indicates they intend to show a still image and the defense objects. After a sidebar, Judge Regina Chu overrules the defense’s objection.
Prosecution calls for another sidebar. Court goes into short 15-minute break after a shorter segment of testimony.
MOTIONS (11 a.m.): The state has filed two important motions in the trial. The first is to strike testimony given last week that Kim Potter’s use of force was justified “by statute.” The motion says that testimony concerning matters of law shouldn’t be given by non-experts, like police officers.
The second motion is to allow for questioning about officers’ union membership to establish their possible bias in favor of Potter.
UPDATE (10:35 a.m.): Court goes into a short break.
— WCCO – CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) December 13, 2021
UPDATE (10:01 a.m.): State calls its next witness to the stand, Melissa Loren, a forensic scientist with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Loren leads a team of forensic scientists who process crime scenes. She has been an expert witness in court before.
Loren is describing processing the evidence at the scene, including the discharged bullet casing inside Wright’s vehicle.
The state is also questioning Loren about the firearms recovered on the scene from Kim Potter and Sgt. Johnson.
UPDATE (9:52 a.m.): Defense begins cross-examination of Dr. Lorren Jackson, the assistant medical examiner at the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.
When asked about the THC levels in Wright’s body, Jackson said it’s tough to say whether Wright was a regular or frequent user of marijuana. He said the THC level was higher than the usual amounts he sees.
After short cross-examination, state comes up for redirect. On redirect, the prosecution is asking Jackson about what happens physiologically when someone is shot in the heart and loses a significant amount of blood. Follows the defense asking about whether Wright could have been conscious and driven off after being shot.
Defense comes up quickly to clarify that they were not asking about THC levels contributing to Wright’s death. Jackson agrees.
Jackson is excused from the stand.
UPDATE (9 a.m.): The prosecution calls Dr. Jackson to the stand. He’s been the assistant medical examiner for 12 years.
Jackson specializes in determining cause and manner of death, particularly in “unusual, unexpected or violent” deaths. He went to the scene of the incident in Brooklyn Center as part of his investigation. He performed an autopsy the day after the incident, on April 12.
Several pictures are being shown in court of Daunte Wright’s body at the scene, as well as during the autopsy the next day. The entrance and exit wounds from the gunshot are on opposite sides of his chest.
These pictures are not being livestreamed out of respect for Wright’s family.
In addition to the gunshot wound, Wright also had injuries to his face and body that are related to the crash and him being taken out of the vehicle. Jackson said they are mostly superficial and not significant factors in his death.
Jackson described the basic path of the bullet with a graphic being shown in court and livestreamed. Wright’s lungs were slightly damaged, but Jackson said that the heart suffered the most damage — and that there was a lot of internal blood loss as a result.
Jackson said, in his expert opinion, that the injury was not survivable and that the particular injury is fatal enough to cause death in seconds to minutes. He said if blood supply is cut to the brain, consciousness would be lost in seconds.
In a blood test, Jackson said that marijuana cannabinoids were discovered, but wasn’t significant in Wright’s cause of death. Jackson said the examination found no other health issues.
Jackson determined that Wright died by homicide due to examination of the wound and information that he had been shot by another individual. Cause of death: gunshot wound of the chest.
On Friday, new body camera evidence was released showing the defendant just moments after the deadly shooting.
The footage showed Potter distraught after the shooting, she even talked about killing herself. Potter’s supervisor, Mychal Johnson, made sure Potter didn’t have a loaded gun, after making those comments.
Johnson told defense attorneys he could have been hurt or killed during the struggle with Wright, and Potter had the right to use deadly force.
Last week’s testimony also featured emotional testimony from Wright’s mother and the woman who was in the car with him when he was shot.
More On WCCO.com:
Source: CBS Minnesota