Prosecutor: St. Louis officer ‘executed’ suspect | Nation – Alabama News

Prosecutor: St. Louis officer ‘executed’ suspect | Nation – Alabama News

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A white former St. Louis police officer charged with killing a black man “executed” him after a car chase, then planted a gun in the slain drug suspect’s vehicle as an excuse for opening fire, a prosecutor told a court Tuesday.

But an attorney for the officer denied the prosecutor’s allegations during opening statements in the first-degree murder trial for Jason Stockley, saying the officer was protecting himself against an armed and dangerous felon.

It was the first time that prosecutors have revealed publicly that they believe that Stockley, 36, planted a gun on 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith after Smith was shot in December 2011. Stockley, who resigned from the department in 2013 and now lives in Houston, wasn’t charged until last year, after then-Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce cited unspecified new evidence. The first-degree murder trial will be decided by a judge rather than a jury despite objections from prosecutors.

It’s unusual for officers to be charged with killing suspects while on duty, and few officers are convicted in such deaths.

A key issue in the trial is the unloaded .38-caliber revolver that another officer later found inside Smith’s rented Buick. Three cartridges were next to the gun. Stockley has said he unloaded the weapon as a safety precaution after shooting Smith.

Assistant Circuit Attorney Aaron Levinson said Stockley shot Smith five times, including once while standing 6 inches from him, which Levinson called the “kill shot.” He said Stockley then returned to the Buick multiple times.

Stockley’s…

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