Ex-Mesa cop's murder trial heads to jury

Closing arguments was presented for former Mesa police officer Philip Brailsford murder trial in the death of Daniel Shaver.

PHOENIX - The trial of a former Mesa police officer accused of shooting an unarmed man will head to a jury on Wednesday morning.

Closing arguments wrapped up in the Philip "Mitch" Brailsford case Tuesday afternoon.

Prosecutors said Brailsford acted in violation of his training, shooting and killing Daniel Shaver in a Mesa hotel in 2016.

Officers had been called to a report of a man pointing a gun out of a hotel window.

Shaver did have a rifle, but it was a pellet rifle used for his extermination business. He did not have the rifle with him when he was shot and killed.

Prosecutors accused Brailsford of being too fast to pull the trigger, and alleged that Brailsford may not have even been looking at Shaver when he pulled the trigger.

Brailsford's body camera showed Shaver on all fours, crawling toward officers and sobbing. He reached toward his waistband and Brailsford fired.

An internal investigation found Shaver may have been trying to pull up his pants. 

Five other officers were in the hallway, but Brailsford was the only one who fired. 

But Brailsford's attorney said Shaver's motion looked just like a "draw stroke," the motion of pulling a gun out of a waistband or holster. Because of that movement, Brailsford's lawyer said Brailsford was justified in shooting.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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