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Defense team in Philando Castile shooting case seeks new judge

Jeronimo Yanez's legal team requested the removal of assigned Judge Edward Wilson from the case.

By Ed Adamczyk
Defense team in Philando Castile shooting case seeks new judge
Lawyers for police officer Jeronimo Yanez, accused of manslaughter in the July shooting death of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn., asked for a change of judges in Yanez's trial. Yanez allegedly shot Castile to death during a traffic stop. Photo courtesy of the Ramsey county, Minn., Jail.

ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Attorneys representing a Minnesota police officer accused of manslaughter in the July death of Philando Castile said they seek a new judge in the case.

Jeronimo Yanez's defense team filed a motion Thursday requesting the removal of Ramsey County District Judge Edward Wilson from the case, court records said. Wilson, the county's second-most senior judge, was assigned to the case Monday.

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The rules of criminal procedure allow the plaintiffs and the defendants to each remove one available judge from consideration, without identifying a reason; such requests are granted automatically.

"We did our research, and based on our research, we chose to remove him [Wilson]," Earl Gray, one of Yanez's three lawyers, said.

Yanez, 28, is a four-year veteran of the police force of St. Anthony, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis and St. Paul. He was charged with felony manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm during a July traffic stop in Falcon Heights in which Castile, 32, was shot and killed. Castile was licensed to carry a handgun, and reportedly told Yanez he was carrying a weapon.

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The incident provoked protests, and national attention after a witness, Castile's girlfriend Diamond Reynolds, live streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.

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