Appeals court rejects bid to move officer’s trial

Published 8:16 am Friday, April 28, 2017

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected moving the manslaughter trial of a police officer charged in the fatal shooting of a black motorist.

Attorneys for St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez asked the appeals court to reverse the trial judge’s ruling against a change of venue.

But Chief Justice Edward Cleary wrote Thursday the appeals court will not reverse that decision unless the lower court “clearly abused its discretion.”

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The defense claims Yanez, who is Latino, won’t get a fair trial in Ramsey County because of pretrial publicity.

Yanez attorney Earl Gray says the defense probably will petition the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Yanez has pleaded not guilty. He fatally shot Philando Castile last summer following a traffic stop in Falcon Heights. Castile’s girlfriend streamed the aftermath live on Facebook.