MESQUITE (CBSDFW.COM) – Former Mesquite officer Derick Wiley has been found not guilty of aggravated assault in the 2017 shooting of Lyndo Jones.
The jury, made up of seven women and five men, decided that Wiley’s shooting of Jones in November 2017 was justified after the first trial ended with a hung jury.READ MORE: 2-Year-Old Wanders Into Backyard, Drowns In Pool
It took the jury six hours during parts of two days to come to that conclusion.
“First of all I want to thank God,” said Wiley minutes after the verdict. “I want to pray for Mr. Jones. I just want my life back. I’m just so glad it’s over with.”
Wiley’s defense attorney Kathy Lowthorp added, “Justice prevailed today and I would hope the DA would take each case individually, investigated thoroughly, don’t throw a good officer away as they tried to do in this case.”
Prosecutors argued Wiley committed a crime because the shooting was unreasonable.
“We are disappointed in the outcome, but this is why we take these cases to the jury, and leave it up to them,” prosecutor Bryan Mitchell said Monday.
A lawyer representing Lyndo Jones, Justin Moore, said the not guilty verdict was stunning.
“When you have a video as clear as that and you can’t get a guilty, I feel for the safety of the citizens of Dallas County. If an officer can shoot you twice, I think we should all be concerned about that,” Moore said.
Lee Merritt, another attorney for Lyndo Jones issued the following statement after the not guilty verdict:
“We are deeply disappointed that the officer responsible for seriously injuring Lyndo Jones was not held accountable for his actions today. We believe that former Mesquite police officer Derick Wiley not only violated policies and procedures when he shot Mr. Jones in the back as he ran from him, he also violated the law.”
We will now move forward with our civil rights lawsuit against Derick Wiley and the city of Mesquite, which is currently pending before the U.S. Northern District Court.
Mesquite’s City Manager Cliff Keheley issued the following statement after the verdict:
“The City of Mesquite respects the decision of the jury. Due to pending litigation, we have no further statement at this time.”READ MORE: Texas Lawmakers Debating Redistricting As Third Special Session Begins At State Capitol
Wiley took the witness stand last Thursday where he detailed his account of what happened when he shot Jones at Jones’ pickup truck. He believed his actions were justified.
“I thought I was out there by myself. Can’t get on the radio. 4-5-4 hadn’t showed up. I thought I was by myself,” Wiley said on the stand.
Body cam footage of the incident showed Wiley approaching the pickup truck Jones was in and yelling for him to get out of the vehicle. Jone complied and answered with “Yes, sir” and “Don’t shoot me.”
— STEVE PICKETT (@STEVEPICK11) September 18, 2018
While Wiley had Jones on the ground, Jones then freed himself and attempted to run away. This was when Wiley fired two shots that struck Jones in the back.
A civilian witness took the stand during the retrial and claimed the former Mesquite officer was in trouble during the incident.
“I saw Mr. Jones struggling to gain control of Officer Wiley’s weapon,” witness Henry Leaverton said.
According to the state’s use of deadly force expert, the body cam footage showed Wiley using proper policing until he decided to shoot Jones.
“Did Lyndo Jones pose a threat to Officer Wiley that he had to use deadly force? No,” law enforcement analyst Johnathan Priest said.
Wiley believed his decision to shoot Jones was justified.MORE NEWS: A Closer Look At 4 Drugs Used To Treat COVID-19; What Really Works?
“I told myself either I got to shoot him or he’s going to shoot me,” Wiley said.