PHOENIX - Oral arguments in the trial of a former Phoenix police officer accused of killing an unarmed man and his dog are scheduled to begin Thursday afternoon.
Prosecutors say Richard Chrisman used excessive force when he shot 29-year-old Daniel Rodriguez and his dog after responding to a criminal damage call in October 2010.
According to court documents, Rodriguez’s mother called police after she and her son got into an argument and he damaged some property in the home.
According to the documents, Chrisman and a second officer, Sergio Virgillo, responded to the home near 3rd Street and South Mountain Avenue where they were asked to get Rodriguez out of the home.
They reportedly tried talking to Rodriguez, used a stun gun on him and “OC” spray to try to restrain him.
Chrisman shot a pit bull that had been barking during the incident and at one point put his service revolver to Rodriguez’s head, according to court documents.
Chrisman and Rodriguez got into physical confrontation as Rodriguez tried to leave the home on a bicycle. According to documents, that’s when Chrisman drew his pistol and shot Rodriguez more than once.
Virgillo reportedly told investigators that he did not believe there was threat to himself that would require deadly force and did not see a weapon in Rodriguez’s hands.
Chrisman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, aggravated assault and animal cruelty charges.
A new judge was assigned to the case on Wednesday.
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