Montgomery officer found guilty of manslaughter in fatal shooting of unarmed black man

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Montgomery police Officer Aaron Smith arrives for a hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Montgomery, Ala., Thursday, March 24, 2016. Smith is charged with murder in the shooting death of of a black man, Greg Gunn, who, a family lawyer says, was walking home when he was slain outside a neighbor’s house. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP) NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT

UPDATE (12:30 p.m.) — A jury has found Ofc. Aaron Cody Smith of the Montgomery Police Department guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of Greg Gunn back in 2016, according to news outlets covering the trial.

Prosecutors had charged Smith with murder. Jurors returned the guilty verdict on the lesser charge of manslaughter.

OZARK, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama jury is expected to begin deliberations soon in the trial of a white police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man in 2016.

News outlets reported that testimony concluded Thursday with Montgomery police Officer Aaron Cody Smith taking the stand to describe the fatal shooting of 58-year-old Gregory Gunn. Prosecutors and a defense lawyer gave diverging different descriptions of the fatal encounter in closing arguments.

Gunn ran after Smith had stopped him for a stop-and-frisk as he was walking home. The defense maintains Smith fired in self-defense because Gunn was grabbing a painter’s pole from a porch, but prosecutors say Gunn was never a threat.

The trial was moved from Montgomery to Ozark, about 85 miles (135 kilometers) away, because of publicity.


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