For the second time, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office is trying to send former Mesquite police officer Derick Wiley to prison for shooting Lyndo Jones in the back. Wiley is charged with aggravated assault by a public servant, a first-degree felony.
Wiley shot Jones after responding to a call about a car alarm going off in a parking lot on Town East Boulevard.
When Wiley arrived, he ordered Jones out of a truck. Wiley thought Jones was trying to steal it. Jones was actually trying to disable the alarm on his own vehicle. Footage from Wiley's body cam painted a vivid image of what happened.
After Jones gets out of the truck, Wiley orders him to get on the ground.
"Stay on the ground before I fucking shoot you," Wiley orders Jones.
"Yes, sir, I'm on the ground," Jones says.
After Jones gets on the ground, Wiley climbs on top of him and starts pulling Jones' hands behind his back. At one point, Wiley's knee appears to be on Jones' knee. That's what made Jones stand up and run away from Wiley, according to Lee Merritt, one of Jones' civil attorneys.
As Jones runs away, Wiley shoots him.
The trial for the cop that shot #LyndoJones in the back because he suspected him of stealing his own car is underway. This video was just released. Lyndo complies to every command until he steps on the back of his neck. Then he stands up and put his hands in the air. He’s shot 2x pic.twitter.com/I2cAGZ0KBQ— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) September 18, 2018
Mesquite Police Department Chief Charles Cato placed Wiley on indefinite leave, effectively firing him, shortly after the shooting.
During his first trial, Wiley repeatedly told jurors that he feared for his life as he attempted to arrest Jones.
"I believe I shot in an official capacity," Wiley said. "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."
Wiley's lawyer, Rafael Sierra, stuck to a similar theme during his opening argument Monday.
“The miracle is in the detail and the analysis and having to break down 56 seconds of somebody’s life-threatening decision-making process,” Sierra said.
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Assistant District Attorney Bryan Mitchell said that Wiley clearly crossed the line as he tried to cuff Jones.
“This is a case of a reckless police officer, who from the minute he showed up was hellbent on violence. He committed a crime," Mitchell told jurors. "When you commit a crime you get prosecuted.”
Following opening statements, Jones got his second chance to tell a jury about the night Wiley shot him. As he did during the first trial, Jones admitted that he'd bought $150 worth of marijuana and cocaine on the way home to Arlington from a sandblasting job, according to reporters in the courtroom. He did the best he could to do what Wiley said, but Wiley shot him anyway, he said.
Testimony in Wiley's trial continues Tuesday.