Former Mesquite Officer Derick Wiley Found Not Guilty of Aggravated Assault - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Former Mesquite Officer Derick Wiley Found Not Guilty of Aggravated Assault

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    Former Mesquite Officer Derick Wiley Found Not Guilty of Aggravated Assault

    A Dallas County jury found former Mesquite police officer Derick Wiley not guilty of aggravated assault related to the shooting an unarmed man in the back in 2017. (Published Monday, July 22, 2019)

    A Dallas County jury found former Mesquite police officer Derick Wiley not guilty of aggravated assault related to the shooting an unarmed man in the back in 2017.

    "I just want my life back, I'm just glad it's over with," Wiley said as he left the courtroom.

    The encounter between Wiley and Lyndo Jones in November 2017 lasted less than a minute. Wiley thought Jones stole a truck, he in fact owned, and shot him twice, claiming he feared for his life.

    Derick Wiley Found Not Guilty of Aggravated Assault Derick Wiley Found Not Guilty of Aggravated Assault

    A Dallas County jury found former Mesquite police officer Derick Wiley not guilty of aggravated assault related to the shooting an unarmed man in the back in 2017.

    (Published Monday, July 22, 2019)

    "I hope the community now knows this man was just defending himself and the jury agreed," Wiley's defense attorney Kathy Lowthorp said. "Justice prevailed today and it was the truth."

    After five days of testimony, the jury got the case a little after 5 p.m. Friday. As deliberations continued Friday, they were dismissed for the weekend and asked to return at 9 a.m. Monday morning.

    The jury returned with the verdict shortly after 1 p.m. Monday. Upon hearing the decision, Wiley broke down in tears and hugged his supporters.

    "I can go home and finally rest without having to think about this," he said.

    Community Reacts to Derick Wiley DecisionCommunity Reacts to Derick Wiley Decision

    Residents of Mesquite and Dallas County react to the not guilty verdict in the aggravated assault trial of former police officer Derick Wiley.

    (Published Monday, July 22, 2019)

    Meanwhile attorneys for both Jones and the state expressed disappointment.

    "I think we're shocked by the verdict to be quite honest. The video was as clear as day," said Justin Moore, who planned to represent Jones in his civil suits. "I feel for the citizens of Dallas County to be quite honest. If an officer can shoot you in the back twice for being in your own car with your hands up, I think we all should be concerned about that."

    "We will continue to keep taking these to court when this stuff happens. We're not going to be be swayed, we're just going to keep pushing forward," lead prosecutor Bryan Mitchell said.

    Moore especially condemned Wiley's decision to fight for his old job. Wiley has already filed an appeal with the city of Mesquite.

    "If he gets his job back, that's laughable. He should not be anywhere near a gun or his badge for the rest of his life," he said.

    "It's my God chosen profession, it's what I was put down here to do. That's what I want to go back and do," Wiley said.

    Derick Wiley Found Not Guilty of Aggravated AssaultDerick Wiley Found Not Guilty of Aggravated Assault

    A Dallas County jury found former Mesquite police officer Derick Wiley not guilty of aggravated assault related to the shooting an unarmed man in the back in 2017.

    (Published Monday, July 22, 2019)

    Had he been convicted, Wiley faced up to 99 years in prison. In addition to this criminal case, Jones has a pending civil lawsuit against Wiley and the city of Mesquite.

    Former Mesquite officer Derick Wiley emotional after being found not guilty of aggravated assault, July 22, 2019.
    Photo credit: NBC 5 News

    Trial, Closing Arguments

    "He wasn't acting reasonable, he wasn't acting rational, that's why he didn't hear Lyndo Jones say no, no don't shoot," said prosecutor Jason Fine.

    Derick Wiley lost his job and was close, twice, to losing his freedom after a previous jury couldn't make a unanimous decision last September.

    "Sending a verdict of guilty in this case does not send a message that you are anti-police," Fine said.

    "You can't make every single police officer that has to use the gun responsible and pay the price for doing their job that they're trained to do, said Kathy Lowthorp, a defense attorney.

    Jury to Return Monday in Retrial of Former Mesquite OfficerJury to Return Monday in Retrial of Former Mesquite Officer

    A Dallas County jury continues to deliberate in the retrial of a former Mesquite police officer. Derick Wiley is accused of unlawfully shooting an unarmed man named Lyndo Jones back in 2017.

    (Published Monday, July 22, 2019)

    Both sides were allowed 30 minutes each to wrap up the week-long retrial that put both Jones and Wiley on the stand.

    Much of the final day was spent on Dr. Ron Martinelli, a former detective and forensic criminologist who specializes in police policy. He analyzed Wiley's body cam video for the defense and said his actions appeared consistent with training.

    "He sees something he thinks is threatening and he automatically draws his gun. That drawing of the gun and that point is rear brain memory," Dr. Martinelli said.

    Martinelli said he literally wrote the book on de-escalation and testified to at least three times he said Wiley used it.

    Jury Deliberating Former Mesquite Officer's Fate - AgainJury Deliberating Former Mesquite Officer's Fate - Again

    The fate of a former Mesquite police officer is now in the hands of a jury for the second time. Derick Wiley is facing aggravated assault for shooting an unarmed man in the back in 2017.

    (Published Friday, July 19, 2019)

    "Now you see him physically de-escalate by using verbal commands," he remarked while analyzing the video.

    NBC5 spoke to Dr. Martinelli after the verdict. He said he was relieved that the jury "connected the dots" to acquit Wiley, and reiterated his testimony that Jones reached for Wiley's gun, and made a threatening gesture right before Wiley shot him.

     

    "He clearly postured at the critical moment as if he was pointing a handgun directly in the direction of Officer Wiley."

    "He clearly postured at the critical moment as if he was pointing a handgun directly in the direction of Officer Wiley," said Dr. Martinelli.

     

    Because of his close ties to law enforcement, the state questioned his objectivity. In their closing arguments, attorneys reiterated their belief that Wiley's actions were unjustified.

    "His life was not on the line. He overreacted, he panicked and Lyndo almost lost his life," Fine said.

    In Mesquite, city manager Cliff Keheley released a short statement saying the city respects the jury's decision and declining further comment due to pending litigation.

    The president of the Mesquite Police Association, Bruce Sales, said justice was done.

    "This trial and the previous trial have been difficult but our organization's support for Officer Wiley has been unwavering," Sales said.

    NBC 5's Alice Barr, Scott Gordon and Frank Heinz contributed to this report.

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