The Latest: Jury sent home for day in NYPD officer's trial

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Posted: Feb 09, 2016 5:40 PM
The Latest: Jury sent home for day in NYPD officer's trial

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a New York City police officer who shot an unarmed man to death in a dark stairwell in 2014 (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

A jury weighing the fate of a New York City police officer charged with shooting and killing an unarmed man in a public housing stairwell has gone home for the day.

The 12-member panel was sent home after deliberating for about an hour Tuesday in Officer Peter Liang's trial.

The 28-year-old officer faces manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and other charges in connection with the November 2014 death of Akai (ah-KEYE') Gurley.

Prosecutors argue Liang was acting recklessly when his gun went off in the darkened stairwell. The rookie officer's attorney has said it is a "terrible tragedy" and not a crime.

After starting deliberations, the jurors asked for an array of materials, including a copy of the New York Police Department's patrol guide.

They will resume deliberations Wednesday morning.

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4 p.m.

A jury has started deliberations in the case of a rookie New York City police officer charged in the shooting death of an unarmed man in a public housing stairwell.

Deliberations in the trial of New York Police Department Officer Peter Liang shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Prosecutors say the 28-year-old officer acted recklessly when his gun fired in a darkened stairwell of a Brooklyn public housing complex on Nov. 20, 2014, killing Akai (ah-KEYE') Gurley. Liang had argued his gun went off accidentally. His lawyer has called it a "terrible tragedy."

Liang faces manslaughter, assault, criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment and official misconduct charges. If convicted of the top charge, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

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2:15 p.m.

Prosecutors say a rookie New York City police officer's shooting of an unarmed man in a public housing stairwell was the result of recklessness — and wasn't an accident.

Assistant District Attorney Joe Alexis gave his closing arguments Tuesday afternoon at the Brooklyn manslaughter trial of Officer Peter Liang (lee-ANG').

As he addressed the jury, Alexis displayed the gun that resulted in the death of Akai (ah-KEYE') Gurley in 2014. The prosecutor held it in his left hand like Liang, who — according to testimony — is left-handed.

Alexis said a finger along the side of the gun would not slip off and "find its way to the trigger" by accident.

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12:20 p.m.

The defense has urged a jury to acquit a New York City police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man in a public housing stairwell in 2014.

Attorney Robert Brown concluded his two-hour closing argument on Tuesday at the manslaughter trial of Officer Peter Liang (lee-ANG').

Brown says the death of Akai (ah-KEYE') Gurley was "a terrible tragedy" and not a crime.

Liang has said his gun went off accidentally while he was patrolling the stairwell and he didn't mean to kill anyone. The shot ricocheted off a wall and hit Gurley, who was taking the stairs down with his girlfriend rather than wait for an elevator at the Brooklyn complex.

Prosecutors say he acted recklessly and then did little to help a dying man.

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11:05 a.m.

The defense is urging jurors not to be swayed by emotion at the trial of a rookie New York City police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man in a public housing stairwell in 2014.

Peter Liang's (lee-ANGZ') lawyer, Robert Brown, said in closing arguments Tuesday that there's "no doubt" the officer's bullet took the life of an innocent man, Akai (ah-KEYE') Gurley.

But he says Liang didn't mean to kill anyone — and radioed for help as soon as he realized someone had been shot.

The officer testified Monday at his manslaughter trial that he didn't know anyone was in the pitch-black stairway when he accidentally fired. The shot ricocheted off a wall and hit Gurley.

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8 a.m.

The rookie police officer who shot an unarmed man in a dark public housing stairwell says what happened was a deadly accident. Prosecutors call it manslaughter and say he acted recklessly and then did little to help the dying man.

Jurors will start discussing their views of Officer Peter Liang's actions as soon as Tuesday. Closing arguments are expected in the morning, and deliberations are likely to begin in the afternoon.

Liang says he didn't know anyone was in the pitch-black stairway when he unintentionally fired. The shot ricocheted off a wall and hit 28-year-old Akai Gurley.

Liang testified Monday he was patrolling with his gun drawn and his finger on the weapon's side when a noise startled him. He says he "just turned, and the gun went off."