After eight hours of deliberation, a Dallas County jury said Thursday afternoon they could not reach a verdict in the case against former Mesquite Police Department Officer Derick Wiley, charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for shooting an unarmed man who was trying to quiet the alarm on his own truck. The judge in the case declared a mistrial.
In the end, the jury was unable to agree on whether Wiley acted as a reasonable police officer would have when he shot Lyndo Jones. According to reporters at the courthouse, the jury was split 8-4 for acquittal. The Dallas County District Attorney's Office has yet to decide whether Wiley will be retried.
In November 2017, Wiley answered a call about a disturbance in a parking lot on Town East Boulevard. He saw Jones in a pickup. The truck's alarm was blaring.
Wiley ordered Jones out of the truck, told him to get on the ground and got on his back in an attempt to handcuff him. As Wiley attempted to handcuff Jones, Jones testified, his knee ended up on Jones' neck. Jones got up and tried to run away. Wiley shot him twice in the back. As it turned out, Jones was just trying to figure out how to shut off a malfunctioning alarm on his truck.
Mesquite Police Department Chief Charles Cato fired Wiley in December.
Jones and Wiley both testified during the officer's two-week trial. In addition to telling jurors that he tried to get away from Wiley only because he was in pain, Jones said initially he did not know Wiley was a police officer. He had gotten lost on the way home from working in Arlington, he said, and had used both marijuana and cocaine as he tried to pull himself together in the parking lot.
Wiley told the jury that he feared for his life during his encounter with Jones.
"I believe I shot in an official capacity," Wiley said Tuesday. "That suspect fought with me on the ground. It was dark out there. I was by myself. Y'all are pausing the video and doing all that, but I had a split-second to make a decision, and that decision was to shoot or get shot."
Monday, Wiley said through tears that he believed Jones had a gun.
"I wouldn't have shot that dude if I didn't think he was going to, he had a weapon and he was going to hurt me but I didn't know what he was doing," Wiley said.
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