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Jury trial underway for IFPD officer

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - The jury trial is underway for Idaho Falls Police officer Elias Cerdas.

The attorneys selected a jury Monday morning and then started opening arguments Monday afternoon. 

He is facing charges for involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Joseph Johnson.

In February of 2021, Johnson was shot by police in his own backyard when he was mistaken for a suspect they were pursuing.

Cerdas was part of a manhunt for a violent felon when GPS coordinates placed him in the Johnson's yard.

Police say Johnson was wearing a shirt matching the suspect's and was carrying a gun.

During the hearing, the junior Attorney General Jeff Nye says what Johnson was doing when the shooting happened.

"Mr. Johnson separates his hands, puts his left hand into the air without a gun, keeps his right hand pointed towards the brick house. And the defendant pulls the trigger mr. Johnson is standing in this position,” Nye said.

"The very government that brings this indictment, the very government that is prosecuting this man is the government that also trained him to do exactly what he did that day, trained him to do exactly what he did that day," defense attorney Dennis Wilkinson said.

The judge expects the trial to end by Friday, but it could go until next Tuesday.

You can read our previous stories HERE and HERE.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls
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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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