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Police officer Yanez turns himself in; first court appearance Friday

ST. PAUL -- St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez turned himself in at the Ramsey County jail on Thursday after he was charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a black man in Falcon Heights in July.

ST. PAUL -- St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez turned himself in at the Ramsey County jail on Thursday after he was charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a black man in Falcon Heights in July.

Yanez, 28, was fingerprinted and had his photo taken. He is expected to appear in court Friday. He was not taken into custody.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced Wednesday that he was charging Yanez with manslaughter as well as two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm in connection with the July 6 incident, which claimed the life of Philando Castile. He was charged via summons.

The incident gained national attention when Castile’s girlfriend began a Facebook live-stream immediately after the shooting.

Yanez’s first court appearance was scheduled for Friday afternoon, and he is expected to plead not guilty, according to attorney Earl Gray, who along with Thomas Kelly will represent Yanez.

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“The media exposure of the case is a real problem, obviously, and it really destroys the presumption of innocence, which every citizen in our country has a right to, even - believe it or not - police officers,” Gray said.

Yanez was immediately released Thursday without needing to post bail, Ramsey County sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. John Eastham said.

The officer is on unpaid administrative leave from the St. Anthony Police Department, which contracts with Falcon Heights for police services.

“The City has not reached any conclusions regarding the officer’s future employment status and is currently evaluating all its options and responsibilities,” St. Anthony City Manager Mark Casey said Thursday in reply to an emailed inquiry about Yanez’s work status.

Yanez’s partner, officer Joseph Kauser, has been cleared of any wrongdoing in Castile’s shooting.

Gray said that he had not reviewed Yanez’s charges as of late Thursday afternoon and that their first meeting would be Friday morning.

He and Kelly expect Paul Engh to join them on Yanez’s defense team, Gray said.

Related Topics: CRIME
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