Texas’ HUNT COUNTY — It is one of the most prominent court cases for Hunt County in recent memory. The trial of a former Wolfe City police officer charged with murder began with opening statements.
In October 2020, Shaun Lucas was arrested and charged for shooting and killing Jonathan Price.
The trial is taking place in the 354th Judicial District Court of Hunt County, presided over by the Honorable Judge Keli Aiken.
On Monday, the defense presented surveillance footage from October 3, 2020. It depicts a man exiting the Kwick Chek convenience store, bearhug Price, and then engage in a fight with him. Several individuals dial 911, and when Lucas arrives, according to the defense, a man wearing a cap begins arguing with Price.
Prosecutors assert that Lucas tasered Price and then shot and killed him shortly later.
Sergeant Jarred Hayes of the Wolfe City Police Department, who was at the scene, testified on Monday.
In court, he told prosecutors, “Price smelled of alcohol but was not hostile toward anyone.”
The prosecution asked Hayes, “Did it bother you when Lucas shot Price?”
Hayes responds, “I had an issue with the fact that he shot Jonathan Price.”
Why didn’t you tell the Texas Rangers throughout your interrogation, the defense inquired?
WFAA also spoke with Chase Reed, who was purchasing ice at the store and spotted Lucas after he deployed his taser.
Reed told the jury, “Jonathan was not going at top speed. There are many other options the officer had besides shooting him.”
Nicholas Crockett, a boyhood friend of Price, also described to the jury what he observed during his visit to the business.
“I observed Lucas say to Jonathan, ‘Come here,'” He used a taser to strike him in the behind. She fell down the stairs. He lost his footing. As he attempted to catch himself, he was shot. Price lays on the ground, and Officer Lucas handcuffs him,’ Crockett stated.
Now delivering evidence is volunteer firefighter Jonathan Kindad. Jonathan required every available assistance. “Are you ok? No, they just shot me, the price is zero. Kindad possessed a hole beneath his left armpit.
Kindad wept as he left the courtroom. The Price family is embracing him in the hallway. https://t.co/PH0GzkqgfQ
— Malini Basu (@MaliniBasu_) September 19, 2022
WFAA has counted 12 jurors and two or three alternates, the bulk of whom are women.
The state stated that on October 3, 2020, when Price encountered Lucas at the scene of a brawl, he was intoxicated but not hostile. Both parties will debate whether Price reached for the officer’s taser during the course of the trial.
“This shooting wasn’t required. If it was not required, it was murder “Assistant district attorney for Hunt County Steve Lilley stated.
Toby Shook and Robert Rogers, the same attorneys who represented former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, are in charge of the defense.
“Shaun Lucas sent twenty orders in sixty seconds. Jonathan Price did not follow any of them “stated Rogers during opening statements.
The defense argued that Price was the aggressor and that Lucas’ use of deadly force was justified.
On the evening of October 3, Lucas attended to a dispute between a couple inside a convenience shop. According to witnesses, Price attempted to resolve the dispute inside the store, but it spilled outdoors. According to family and friends, the dispute was resolved before to the officers’ arrival.
Attorneys for Lucas stated at the time that Price approached the officer and then rejected repeated directions. Attorneys claim that Price’s physical resistance forced the officer to deploy his taser.
Additionally, the attorney stated that Price “attempted to steal the taser from Officer Lucas.”
“Officer Lucas only shot his firearm in compliance with Texas law when he was challenged by a violent assailant who was attempting to steal his Taser, according to a statement released in 2020 by attorney Robert L. Rogers.
The Texas Rangers charged Lucas with murder and described his conduct as “not objectionably reasonable” in a statement.
The Wolfe City Police Department stated that Lucas was fired “due to his flagrant violation of city and police department policies.”