The trial for a fired Dallas police officer accused of shooting at a woman 12 times during an investigation into a stolen vehicle continued Friday.
Christopher Hess, 42, is charged with aggravated assault by a public servant after he shot and killed 21-year old Genevive Dawes on Jan. 18, 2017 while responding to a call about a stolen car. A Dallas County jury will now decide if deadly force was justified in this case. Hess is pleading not guilty and, if convicted, faces up to 99 years or life in prison.
The prosecution rested their case Thursday; As the trial continues, Hess is expected to take the stand in his own defense though it's not clear when that will happen.
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On Friday, another officer who was at the scene when Hess opened fire testified that the car posed a "deadly threat" and that had he been in better position, he too would have fired into the van driven by Dawes.
“You would have shot if you were in a position to shoot," Hess' defense attorney asked.
"Yes," Officer Christopher Alisch responded.
Also called by Hess' defense were multiple experts testifying that Dawes' van posed a deadly threat and use of force was justified. Prosecutors fired back during cross-examination, attempting to highlight the slow-speed of the vehicle.
Earlier this week, jurors watched more body camera video from one of the six officers who responded to that call on a stolen car in an East Dallas apartment complex parking lot in January 2017.
Police said Dawes and her common-law husband were sleeping inside the car when a 911 caller reported them. The car turned out to be stolen when the license plate number was searched by police prior to responding to the scene, according to investigators.
The body camera video shows officers making several commands with no response and then Dawes trying to move her car into a fence, eventually backing into one of the DPD vehicles. In the video -- after more commands and another attempt by Dawes to back up the vehicle -- Hess opened fire 12 times.
Dawes was killed. Her passenger survived.
If found guilty, Hess could face anywhere from 5 to 99 years or life in prison.