DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Four months after former Dallas police officer Amy Wilburn took criminal responsibility for the shooting an unarmed man, her attorney told a jury in her civil case Monday that Wilburn’s actions were “objectionably reasonable.”
This past May, Wilburn pleaded guilty a reduced charge of reckless discharge of a firearm for the 2013 shooting of Kelvion Walker.
Walker’s attorney, Geoff Henley, told the court in his opening statement that Walker underwent three life-saving operations after the shooting, and remains physically and emotionally scarred from the incident.
The plaintiff’s star witness, Scotty Smith, also took the stand Monday and told the court he saw Walker sitting inside the car with his hands up for eight-to-nine seconds, before being shot by Wilburn.
During cross examination, Wilburn’s attorney questioned why Smith “changed his story” after first speaking with police. Smith testified he did not change his story.
In 2014, Wilburn became the first Dallas police officer to be indicted for shooting a suspect in more than four decades. She was indicted on a felony aggravated assault charge and faced the possibility of life in prison.
In her plea deal, she received 18 months of deferred probation. Wilburn was also required to surrender her peace officer’s certificate.
In December 2013, Walker, then 19, was a passenger in a suspected stolen car that Wilburn and her partner were attempting to pull over. The driver jumped out of the moving car and ran. Walker remained inside with his seat belt on.
Wilburn rushed to the car — which was still moving — and opened the driver-side door. She saw Walker in the passenger seat, pulled her gun and fired one shot.
Walker was unarmed.
A witness at the scene told investigators Walker also had his hands up when the officer shot him.
The senior corporal was fired by former Police Chief David Brown shortly after the shooting. He is expected to testify during the trial.
Meanwhile, Walker has racked up more than $300,000 in medical bills as a result of being shot in the stomach.
In the civil case, the City of Dallas is responsible for Wilburn’s legal fees and has so far spent more than $640,000, according to billing records.