Not only was it a twist to see Stockley take the stand, but it was unexpected that he was one of only two people to testify in his own defense. The other witness described seeing a struggle before the 2011 shooting in north St. Louis.
When Stockley took the stand, he remained there for more than four hours.
The former officer said he remembers on that December day his partner yelling “gun” and shattering the suspect’s window before the pursuit. Stockley said he was justified using deadly force even then, because he said the suspect’s car hit him.
Then during the pursuit, Stockley acknowledged it sounds like you can hear him say “kill that (expletive).” He says he does not remember saying it and he cannot explain why. About 30 seconds later he said her ordered his partner to hit the suspect’s car to stop the pursuit because the suspect had just driven into oncoming traffic and threatened other people.
Stockley said he believed suspect Smith had reached his gun and the officer said he was in such fear for his life he was backing up while shooting him.
His defense attorney asked if he planted a gun on the suspect and Stockley answered “absolutely not.”
During cross examination, the prosecutor challenged Stockley on why his partner would re-holster his weapon if he truly yelled “gun.” He also pushed the former officer apparently saying “gonna kill that (expletive).” The prosecutor added, “45 seconds later — you did kill him.”
Closing arguments begin tomorrow.