Closing Arguments in Former Mesquite Officer Trial

Former police officer gets emotional during testimony, recalling the night of the shooting

Closing arguments took place Wednesday morning in the trial of former Mesquite police officer Derick Wiley accused of unlawfully shooting and injuring a man.  

Under cross examination Tuesday, Derick Wiley remained adamant he followed policy and says he had a "split second to make a decision and that decision was to shoot or be shot."

Former officer Derick Wiley is charged in the Nov. 8, 2017 shooting of Lyndo Jones and faces one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant.

Wiley became emotional when he took the stand Monday, explaining to the court why he believed Jones was burglarizing a truck when he confronted him and what happened after he demanded Jones get on the ground after he turned his back.

Jones, who owned the truck, testified that he got lost on his way home from work, decided to pull into the business' parking lot and began to smoke marijuana and do cocaine before he was confronted.

While testifying Monday, Wiley said his intention that night was to handcuff Jones on the ground. When asked why by a defense attorney, Wiley put his hands on his face, became emotional and said, "because I thought he had a weapon."

The trial against a former Mesquite police officer accused of unlawfully shooting and injuring a man continues Wednesday with the victim taking the stand.

When Jones struggled and began to get up, Wiley said he told himself, "Derick do not die out here...I thought I might die."

Fearing Jones was going to confront him -- not run away -- Wiley shot him twice in the back.

Wiley said he did not know he shot Jones in the back, as he believed the man was facing him.

"I wouldn't have shot that dude if I didn't think he was going to, he had a weapon and he was going to hurt me but I didn't know what he was doing," he said sobbing.

When asked why he shot twice, Wiley said officers are trained to shoot to stop a threat and it was a "natural reaction to shoot twice."

Defense attorneys asked Wiley if he would change anything if he were in that position again and he said he would not. When asked why, Wiley said he felt like his life was in danger and that it was "shoot or get shot."

Tuesday morning prosecutors cross examined Wiley for about a half hour, who said he believes he shot Jones in an official capacity because Jones fought with him.

"The suspect fought with me on the ground. It was dark out there. I was by myself. I had a split second to make a decision and that decision was to shoot or be shot," Wiley said Tuesday.

Wiley said in court Tuesday under cross examination that during the struggle with Jones his knuckle was cut open, even though he reported no injuries after the shooting.

Wiley also clarified Tuesday that when he and Jones struggled on the ground, Jones didn't throw his entire body to the side, he swiped his hands to the side.

When asked by prosecutors why he didn't wait for backup once he had his gun drawn, Wiley said he didn't think he could hold Jones for that long by himself.

If convicted, Wiley faces between five years and life in prison.

Jones' civil attorneys spoke to reporters after the officer's testimony, saying they were surprised to see that kind of emotion.

"We had the opportunity to see this officer give an interview when his attorney was present in the conference room. There was no tears whatsoever," said Washington. "But all of the sudden today we get tears. When you look at clearly this officer's testimony contradicts itself."

Attorney Justin Moore also spoke out.

"This man [Wiley] is fighting for his life, essentially he's facing possibly up to 99 years so he's going to say whatever he can to get out of that situation. So I believe his testimony, I was unmoved by it," Moore said.

The trial against a former Mesquite police officer accused of unlawfully shooting and injuring a man continues Wednesday with the victim taking the stand.

Lyndo Jones Takes the Stand

Lyndo Jones took the stand last week in the trial and told jurors that he stopped in the parking lot where he was shot because he had gotten lost on his way home from work in Arlington.

Jones said he was not sure how long he had been there when Wiley arrived but said he could not tell Wiley was a police officer, in part because of the blinding spotlight. 

Jones said he had been using marijuana and cocaine in his pickup before the shooting. Jones recalled for the jurors what it felt like to get shot.  

"It felt like someone was pushing me down, holding me down but I was trying to run, you know when someone run and push you, that's what it felt like," Jones said.

Jones said he ran from Wiley because Wiley threatened to shoot him. 

Last week, Wiley's body camera video was introduced as a key piece of evidence, showing the nearly two minute exchange escalating into violence and shots being fired. The video also shows Jones complying with the officers orders, followed by a struggle, and then Jones being shot twice in the back.

Wiley was fired by the Mesquite Police Department after an internal investigation found he violated multiple department polices during the shooting. Wiley has appealed his termination.

NBC 5's Courtney Gilmore and Maria Guerrero contributed to this report.

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