Trial Starts For Former St. Louis Officer Jason Stockley

Anthony Lamar Smith with his daughter

On December 20, 2011, 24-year old Anthony Lamar Smith was pulled over by St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on suspicion of making a drug deal. Anthony took off in a rented Buick.   Against policy, Stockley shot at the fleeing car.  Dash cam video shows that Anthony slowed down.  Stockley called for another officer to “hit” the car driven by Anthony, and that officer, Brian Bianchi, did just that.

Footage from three recordings obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shows Stockley walking to Anthony’s rented Buick.  One recording was from a cell phone, and at least one other was from a store’s surveillance camera.

The impact of being hit by the police SUV resulted in the Buick’s side curtain air bags engaging, blocking part of the view from the dashboard’s camera.  Bianchi is seen reaching into the Buick with his gun still in its holster.  Stockley is seen with an AK=47, and his head is bobbing up and down as if he was lifting the curtain as well.

Stockley shot 5 times.  Officer Bianchi suddenly backed away as if he was not expecting the gunshots.

Backseat of police SUV where Jason Stockley’s personally owned AK-47 is seen on the right.

Stockley is seen taking his personal AK-47 back to his SUV and putting it into the backseat. Stockley then returned to the Buick that was driven by Anthony.  St. Louis Today reports that according to officials, Stockley was not authorized to carry the rifle, which he personally owned.

Inside dashcam recorded Stockley going into a duffle bag in the back seat, and subsequently leave the SUV with nothing in his hands.

After other officers removed Anthony’s body from the Buick, Stuckley is seen crawling inside the Buick.

Stockley said that he shot Anthony because Anthony disobeyed his commands to show his hands and he believed Anthony was reaching for a gun that was found in Anthony’s car.

According to Stockley’s father, Jason Stockley attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served a 15-month tour in Iraq with the Army.  He attributed the sudden charges against his son to “a change in the country, which is frightening”.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN 6 YEARS

You can no doubt guess that much happened in the 6 years between December 2011 and July 2017.

There was an Internal Affairs investigation into the shooting.

In 2011,  Stockley told Internal Affairs Investigators that he returned to the SUV to get a first-aid kit. The investigators deciding that .38-caliber Taurus revolver was found in the Buick,  found the shooting justified.

A lab analysis of the revolver found that the only DNA on the gun was from Stockley.

In 2013, Stockley resigned his position with the St. Louis Police Department. He moved to Houston, Texas.

Anthony’s Estate filed a civil suit on behalf of Anthony’s young daughter.  The St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners settled the case for $900k.

According to court records, during the chase, Stockley is recorded saying,  “Going to kill that mother(expletive), don’t you know it.”

In August 2016, Stockley was indicted by a St. Louis grand jury. He is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.  Stockley was arrested and held in Texas with no bail until he was extradited from Houston, Texas to St. Louis, MO. by the U.S. Marshall.   He was arraigned and placed on a million dollar bail.  The bail was secured by the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association.  Stockley is staying with relatives in Illinois until the completion of trial.

Originally, jurors were to be selected from a pool of 150 people and be sequestered at an undisclosed location.  Stockley’s attorney’s request for a change of venue was denied by the court.  Stockley has waived his right to a trial by jury and is having a bench trial.

At a press conference, Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce stated:

“I’m disappointed because I know what fine public servants the vast majority of police officers are, and this kind of conduct on the part of this former officer doesn’t reflect the excellent work I see from them every day. So it’s disappointing in that regard, but it’s important that people understand that if you commit a crime, and we have the evidence to prove it, it doesn’t matter to us what you do for a living. Our job is to hold people accountable if we have the evidence. And in this case, we do.”

The judge has ordered no cameras in the courtroom.  I will look today to see if a reporter is reporting on the trial and if so, the information will be posted in the comment section below.

 

 

 

Sources: Riverfronttimes.com

St. Louis Today

St. Louis Today; No cameras

 

 

Posted on 07/31/2017, in Cases, Trial Videos and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 57 Comments.

  1. yahtzeebutterfly

    No electronic devices will be allowed in the courtroom.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Courtrooms are public places. I can’t understand the judge not allowing the media to have cameras. There is no jury, so no danger in capturing jury members on camera. It’s a bench trial so only the judge decides the verdict. There are no dangers of having the jury hearing about the case in the media to persuade them one way or the other.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I’m praying for a great outcome, but we all know how it ends!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ladylove,
      I am more concerned over bench trials than trial by jury. Remember when those members of the Baltimore 6 decided to have bench trials, and the judge acquitted all of them? It sounded like trials and decisions by script.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Dear Xena,

    I am not sure that the judge won’t find Mr. Stockley guilty, UNLESS THE FIX IS IN. The peoples just can’t have a police officers carrying and using unauthorized killing machines like the AK47.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 4 people

    • Gronda,
      Like you, I hold on to hope.

      Stockley didn’t fire his AK-47, and the thing for prosecutors to prove is that he pre-planned to kill Anthony, and after doing so, planted a gun in Anthony’s car.

      In bench trials when officers are defendants, judges generally perceive them as officers of the court given discretion in their decisions the same as judges are given discretion. The standard of proof is suppose to be beyond a reasonable doubt, but in reality, it’s abuse of discretion.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. yahtzeebutterfly

    Excerpt from article at this link:
    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/murder-trial-of-ex-cop-in-st-louis-could-draw/article_ae3a1139-cd68-52be-bda0-af553bf8a1ba.html

    “Opening statements in Stockley’s two-week trial begin Tuesday in front of St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson, who will decide the case because Stockley waived his right to a jury trial.”


    St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson

    Liked by 4 people

  5. yahtzeebutterfly

    Dr. Kris Mohandie will be a defense witness. Dr. Mohandie testified at the trial of Ofc. Betty Jo Shelby, who was acquitted

    Like

    • this is a serious problem with the system, “experts” being taken seriously when they ALWAYS 100% no matter the facts side with the police….my experience is most “experts” are no more informed than any well read person…….you cant explain away a person saying you know i am going to kill that person and then minutes later doing exactly that…..clear premeditated murder.

      Liked by 5 people

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Bill, I hear you. Here is what a witness for the defense (Dr. Kris Mohandie) said in his deposition:

        Liked by 3 people

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Bill,

        Dr. Mohandie (an ex-LAPD police psychologist) also said this in his deposition:

        The state does not want Dr. Mohandie to testify:

        Liked by 2 people

        • Do you know if the court accepted or rejected him as an expert witness for the defense? I’m so disappointed that we’re not kept informed by the media.

          Liked by 1 person

          • yahtzeebutterfly

            I tried to learn more after reading the tweet that I posted. I could not find a pdf of the state’s motion nor could I find out whether the court has responded to the motion.

            One has to ask WHY the public has to be kept in the dark and why so little information will be coming out minute by minute during the trial due to the prohibition of electronic devices in the courtroom.

            Liked by 2 people

  6. i fear he chose trial by judge because he already knows the verdict……seems is should be much easier to get ONE juror out of 12 than to find crooked judges, but recent history throws that logic out the window…….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Bill!
      I can’t remember one case involving a police officer who chose a bench trial that ended in a finding of guilt. On this blog, I have reported on cases involving bench trials that ended in acquittal; the trial of Daniel Willis who killed Yvette Smith, and the ttrial of Craig Taylor who killed 95-year old John Wrana by tasing and shooting his frail body 5 times with bean bags.

      On the other hand, a man who was not a law enforcement officer, Rolando Cruz was convicted for murder. He spent 9 years on death row. At his forth trial, he opted for a bench trial and was acquitted.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. yahtzeebutterfly

    Opening statements at 9:00. Joel Courrier with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch will give an update at noon.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. yahtzeebutterfly

    Link to KMOV article on opening statements today:
    http://www.kmov.com/story/36022604/prosecution-smith-did-not-deserve-to-be-executed-stockley-planted-gun

    Excerpt:

    ‘During opening statements in the first-degree murder trial against former St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley, the prosecution claimed Anthony Lamar Smith was trying to get away from police and did not deserve to be executed.

    “After arriving at the courthouse Tuesday morning, the prosecution gave their opening statement. In the statement, they argued that Stockley made bad, deadly decisions and there was a “kill shot.” They also claimed Stockley planted a gun following the fatal shooting.

    “The defense argued that Smith created a violent encounter and fled from Stockley, putting himself and others at risk. They also claimed a gun was not planted and Stockley acted in self-defense and reasonably.

    “The defense also claimed that both officers saw the gun Smith reportedly had.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “…Jason Stockley fired his “kill shot” at Anthony Lamar Smith from just six inches away…”

    That doesn’t sound like fear of Anthony having a gun. It sounds deliberate.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I hope that prosecutors have a video expert to testify and go through the video for when Stockley went back to the SUV and ruffled around in the duffle bag. While I think that I saw him place something into his shirt, I would like to see if an expert can break it down what he/she saw Stockley doing. He certainly did not leave the SUV with a first aid kit like he claimed he was getting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Exactly…you don’t put “a first aid kit” in your shirt like that.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Indeed! Not only did he not have a first aid kit, but the cell phone video shows him casually walking back to Anthony’s car. The moment Anthony’s lifeless body was removed from his car, Stockley jumped into the driver’s side.

        I would also think that an officer involved in a shooting is not required to clear evidence such as a firearm purportedly belonging to the person they just killed.

        Liked by 3 people

  11. August 2, 2017

    As reported by stlamerican.

    “The defense argued that Stockley would not have planted the gun, because his fingerprints are the only ones found on it. He wasn’t wearing gloves when he handled the gun, which the defense asserted was not the action of someone trying to cover his tracks – instead, his handling of the gun found in Smith’s car was simply a necessary (and legal) action to secure the scene.”

    In my opinion, no matter if Stockley cleared the gun, if it was Anthony’s gun, then Anthony’s DNA should have ALSO been on it.

    “In court, the defense asked witness John Baumgartner of the police force to demonstrate the grip required to unload a pistol, which he demonstrated using the same pistol that had been found in Smith’s car that day. The witness who handled the gun, however, was asked to wear gloves.”

    “Another topic up for debate Wednesday was whether or not a crowd gathered at the scene. Simpson, along with Stockley’s defense, described the aftermath of the shooting as “crazy.” Cell phone video by French, which shows “about 10” officers gathering in the parking lot after the shooting, contradicts that. It doesn’t show a civilian crowd at all, much less an “aggressive” one.”

    This argument, in my opinion, was not relevant. If a jury trial, it might appeal to personal biases to persuade the jury to believe that the area is occupied by residents that would hinder the police from doing their jobs at the crime scene.

    In the upcoming days, a DNA expert is expected to testify, along with other witnesses, possibly including Stockley himself.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is another problem with our system clearly officers feel they can LIE about known details, the crowd as an example, and you simply can’t explain away no dna from the victim on the gun…that is proof of a drop gun being used.

      Liked by 3 people

  12. Like

  13. Like

  14. Liked by 1 person

  15. Liked by 1 person

  16. I was somewhat confused by the reports that only Stockley’s DNA was found on the gun in Anthony’s car, but there was also blood found on the gun. I presumed it had to have been Anthony’s blood since he was the person shot. It turns out that the blood on the screw of the gun was Stockley’s. The defense argued that it proves the gun belongs to Stockley.

    Stockley’s defense however, argued that the material on the gun was rust. They also argued that no test confirmed what the material is.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Liked by 1 person

  18. Friday, August 4, 2017

    Like

  19. Monday, August 7, 2017

    The only thing I was able to find out about the trial today is that there was no trial.

    CBS reported;

    ” It’s another off day in the murder trial of former St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley.

    After calling 18 witnesses last week, the prosecution is expected to rest its case in the morning. Then the defense will call its first witness.

    Last week the prosecution tried to demonstrate that Stockley violated department policy several times during the chase and after the shooting that claimed the life of Anthony Smith.

    Among the most dramatic testimony was that from an FBI firearms analyst, who determined one of the five shots fired by Stockley came from within six inches of Smith.

    Judge Timothy Wilson, who will decide the case, will rule on some motions and then testimony will resumes. Proceedings begin at nine tomorrow morning.”

    Like

  20. Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    The State and defense both rested today. Stockley testified on his own behalf. Hopefully, more news will come and can be reported here.

    Like

  21. Like

  22. Closing arguments are scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday.

    Like

  23. During cross-examination, it sounds as if Stockley claimed forgetfulness when asked what he stated when giving chase. In answer to why he violated policy by carrying his own AK-47, he replied, “Because I valued the lives of my and the other officers more than the policy.”

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/stockley-testifies-he-heard-partner-yell-gun-saw-weapon-in/article_990ba469-4922-596f-85bf-3e27217b3da9.html

    Like

  24. was the origins of the gun in the car even mentioned? it had a serial number on it…..who owned that gun? what was its history? seems to me to be very important information that should be easily known.

    Like

    • Bill,
      That’s an excellent question about the serial number and history of that gun found in Anthony’s car. I have not read if that was presented at trial. Inconsistencies have been reported involving the reports of officers, including Stockley. For example, he said that he went to the SUV to get a “clot kit” but decided that Anthony’s wounds were fatal. Yet, he did not go back to Anthony’s car to see if he were alive or dead before deciding on his own that Anthony’s wounds were fatal. Another officer however, said that Stockley was providing first-aid when he arrived on the scene. The reports by officers, including the supervising officer, are found on the St. Louis Today website.

      Like

  25. yahtzeebutterfly

    The defense has rested.

    Like

  26. The judge will not enter a decision before August 18th.

    (Let’s see if this works to show the video)

    Like

  1. Pingback: Trial Starts For Former St. Louis Officer Jason Stockley | We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident – Never the less…

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