Guilty on all Counts.
UPDATE – “TRIAL OUTCOME” REACHED, to be read in Court 1:30 p.m. Central time.
“VERDICT” LIVE —
(will update as happens)
COUNT I – Charge: First-Degree Manslaughter Predicated on Reckless Use/Handling of a Firearm GUILTY
COUNT II – Charge: Second-Degree Manslaughter GUILTY
Judge orders Potter taken into custody without bail. Attorneys ask for argument on the issue. Not a danger to public, has made all court appointments, it’s Christmas season, will seek dispositional departure due to clear remorse. Ask that she not be incarcerated until sentencing. Deep roots in community, not a flight risk.
Prosecution asked she be taken into custody immediately. Customary to take into custody upon conviction for this level of crime. Potter not living in state, aggravating factor. Will be seeking Blakely sentencing enhancement.
Judge: Presumptive sentences immense, will require she be taken into custody without bail. Can’t treat this case differently than any other case. Defense motion for dispositional departure due January 31, state response February 14. State Blakely brief due in two weeks, defense response due January 31. Sentencing February 18, 9 a.m.
According to NY Times:
The standard sentence range for the more serious charge, first-degree manslaughter, is between about six to eight and a half years in prison, and the maximum penalty is 15 years.
Welcome to our coverage of the Kim Potter manslaughter trial over the April 11, 2021, shooting death of Duante Wright in a suburb of Minneapolis, when then-police officer Potter unintentionally used her Glock 17 pistol in place of her intended Taser.
The case has been with the jury since 12:45 p.m. Central time on December 20, 2021, a total of over 24 hours of deliberation time. Questions asked on Day 2 (see below) indicate the jury was having trouble reaching “consensus.” The jury will resume deliberations at 9 a.m. Central today. We will monitor developments and will update if there are jury questions or other courtroom action. When a verdict is imminent, we will update the headline, and will also reach out on social media. And when the verdict is announced, we will be live.
One thing the jury did not know was Daunte Wright’s extenstive violent criminal history, which Ann Coulter documents, The Daunte Wright NYT Readers Don’t Know!. That would have been relevant if Potter and the other officers were aware at the time; all Potter knew was that there was an arrest warrant out for Wright on a gun charge and a domestic protective order.
For coverage of closings, including videos of closing arguments, see Daunte Wright Shooting Trial LIVE – Closing Arguments Over, Jury Gets The Case (updated)
Reminder – there are two Counts:
COUNT I – Charge: First-Degree Manslaughter Predicated on Reckless Use/Handling of a Firearm
COUNT II – Charge: Second-Degree Manslaughter
1:10 p.m. Eastern —
Per local reporter. “Official bulletin from the courthouse: A trial outcome has been reached and will be read on the record today between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. CST. I note, “trial outcome” in their wording.
9:40 a.m. Eastern —
Court spox writes: “Judge Chu’s intention is to allow the jurors & attorneys time off to spend w/ family and friends during the holidays, starting Friday and returning Monday morning, if deliberations are not completed by the end of today 12/23.”
RECAP OF PRIOR DELIBERATION DAYS
7 p.m. Eastern – According to a local reporter, the jury has wrapped up for today, will continue Thursday. Jury completely silent today, not questions for the Judge.
— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) December 23, 2021
9:30 a.m. Eastern – Local reporter: Just got word from court. #KimPotterTrial jury resumed deliberations at 8:25am. Getting a slightly earlier start than expected. [WAJ – If jury started early, they clearly want to get this done today.]
5:30 p..m. Eastern – Jury questions (submitted 4 p.m. Central) read in court:
First Question — “If the jury cannot reach consensus, what is the guidance around how long and what steps should be taken?” Answer: Judge re-reads a prior instruction: You should discuss the case and deliberate towards reaching a verdict without compromising oath.
#KimPotterTrial – VIDEO: Jury indicates possible deadlock. Judge reads the instruction: You should discuss the case with one another…. if you can do so without violating individual judgment…..#DaunteWright @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/WvqxwIGuhr
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) December 21, 2021
Second Question — “Can the zip ties be removed fromExhibit 199 Potter’s gun so it can be held out of the evidence box?” Answer – Yes, hand deputy the gun in the box, the deputy will then remove the zip ties and give gun to you. After you are done with it, hand it back to the deputy.
Defense objected to judge rereading the single instruction, also objected to removing gun from the case for safety purposes. Prosecution says appopriate to give that instruction, it’s standard in lieu of the old “Allen” instruction.
#KimPotterTrial – NEXT JURY QUESTION: They want to remove the zip ties from Potter's gun so it can be removed from the evidence box.
ANSWER: Yes. Judge tells them to hand the evidence box to the deputy, he will remove it and hand it to them and they will take it back in room. pic.twitter.com/nXR9YlnBkv
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) December 21, 2021
Juror #4 is a white woman in her 40’s. During jury selection she said she worked in IT as a project manager. She was very busy jotting down notes. The jury was hard to read. No visible signs of frustration. But not particularly energetic either. Going on 13 hours. https://t.co/b9MioTgc2D
— Ryan Raiche (@ryanraiche) December 21, 2021
5:20 p.m. Eastern – Jury has a question
Yesterday, the only courtroom action after deliberations started was a jury question:
4:20 p.m Eastern, 12/20/21 – Jury Question: What was the date of the Potter interview with Dr. Miller (question dated 2:58 p.m. CT). Judge says all the evidence is in, “you should rely on your collective memory as to what the evidence is.”
4:20 p.m Eastern – Jury Question: What was the date of the Potter interview with Dr. Miller (question dated 2:58 p.m. CT). Judge says all the evidence is in, “you should rely on your collective memory as to what the evidence is.”
Needless to say, the best we can do is speculate what is going on with the jury behind closed doors. The Question the jury asked goes to the testimony of Dr. Laurence Miller, the psychological expert who testified about how the brain works, and how an officer by habit could unkowingly pull a gun rather than a taser because pulling the gun was practiced far more.
He testified as to his interview with Potter, and she also was questioned about what she told him about whether she saw the gun in her hand. That was a big point in the prosecution closing (at 6:10 of video below) because is she saw the gun and was aware she was holding it, perhaps that memory function doesn’t apply.
JURY WATCH: More #KimPotter testimony regarding interview with defense psychology expert. Why was jury so concerned about date of interview w/ Dr. Laurence Miller, who testified about "action error" & "slip & capture" mistakes? Jury has now been deliberating nearly 8 hours. @FOX9 pic.twitter.com/O2KrpsppUm
— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) December 21, 2021
So the jury seems focused on that testimony, though which part of the testimony we don’t know, which would indicate in coming to a determination on recklessness or culpable negligence, they are considering whether she acted, in a sense, with the free will (“conscious” in the jury instruction) or fell victim to a psychological process. This would make sense for the jury to focus on this, because the facts of the case are not really in dispute or complicated. The prosecution does not claim that Potter deliberately pulled the gun. What is in dispute is whether the action of mistake and not recognizing the mistake before shooting rises to the level of recklessness or culpable negligence. On that the jury instructions do not give the jury much guidance.DONATE
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