Phoenix PD's Killer Cop: Lawyer Says Officer Justified in Killing Domestic Violence Suspect -- and His Dog
The attorney for the Phoenix police officer accused of fatally shooting a domestic violence suspect tells New Times an officer who witnessed the shooting is a liar.
Craig Mehrens, the attorney for Officer Richard Chrisman, says information in a secondary police report is inconsistent with information provided by Officer Sergio Vergillo -- the other officer at the scene, who witnessed the shooting.
"We already know he's lying," Mehrens says. "Officer Vergillo's version doesn't even make sense. If there was no threat, as he claims, why did he call for back up."
If you're unfamiliar with the case, click here. It's nuts. Based on the initial report, it sounds like Chrisman just went berserk and shot an unarmed man and his dog.
In the initial police report, Officer Vergillo claims Chrisman held a gun to the head of the victim, 29-year-old Daniel Rodriquez, after Rodriquez told him he needed a warrant to be in his house.
"I don't need no warrant, motherfucker," Vergillo says Chrisman told Rodriquez, while holding a gun to his head.
Mehrens says that never happened.
"I don't know why people lie," Mehrens says.
That's interesting -- coming from a lawyer, and all.
Vergillo is also accused of shooting Rodriquez's dog, even though Vergillo says the animal was barking but had not attacked anyone.
Mehrens says the secondary report explains that "a large pit bull became aggressive." He says the animal was a threat and that's why Chrisman shot it -- even though it hadn't attacked anyone.
Chrisman's been charged with aggravated assault. Members of the Latino community have demanded Chrisman be charged with murder and plan to protest Phoenix Police headquarters every night for the next week.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.
- Arizona Governor Doug Ducey Permits Geocaching Game on State Land
Wed., Feb. 10, 7:30pm
Thu., Feb. 11, 8:00am
Fri., Feb. 12, 7:00pm
Mon., Feb. 15, 7:00pm
- How 20 Metro Phoenix Cities Got Their Names
- Arizona Pro-Marijuana Forces Steamrolling Pot Prohibitionists in Fundraising