The trial of former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter came to a close on Thursday (December 23rd). Potter, who testified that she meant to draw her Taser to subdue 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in April, was found guilty of first-and-second-degree manslaughter.
While the 49-year-old has yet to be sentenced, CNN reports that “the maximum sentencing for first-degree manslaughter predicated on reckless use/handling of a firearm is 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine.” Potter has no previous criminal history, so the Minnesota sentencing guidelines may recommend a sentence between 6 and 8.5 years in prison.
Judge Regina Chu, who oversaw the proceedings, gave a warning that if jurors didn’t finalize their verdict before the holidays, trial would resume on December 27th. According to court officials, on Wednesday, jurors deliberated for more than nine hours, following over nine hours of discussions Tuesday and more than five hours on Monday.
The trial has ended months after Wright was pulled over by Minnesota police for having an expired tag and an illegal air freshener. The officers, including Potter, discovered that Wright had an outstanding warrant officers and attempted to arrest him. Wright then pulled away and tried to drive off.
During a recorded video of the incident, Potter yelled “Taser!” instead grabbing her firearm and fatally shooting Wright. Seemingly distraught, Potter acknowledged that she grabbed her handgun, claiming that she should kill herself for the incident.
During the trial, Potter said that she didn’t remember much from the incident, but broke down in tears while explaining the “chaotic” moments that led up to the shooting. The trial, which included more than 30 eyewitnesses, centered the jury’s perspective of Potter’s error, whether it was a fatal mistake from negligence or an intentional killing.
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