St. Anthony cop's attorneys request new judge in Castile case

Judah O'Hara holds an image of Philando Castile.
Judah O'Hara, 4, a student at J.J. Hill Montessori school shows a sign in support of Philando Castile at a rally in St. Paul on Nov. 16.
Aaron Lavinsky | Star Tribune via AP

Attorneys for the St. Anthony police officer charged with fatally shooting Philando Castile this summer have filed a motion asking for a new judge to preside over the trial.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez is charged with second-degree manslaughter in Castile's death. Prosecutors say Yanez shot the African-American man seven times during a traffic stop on July 6. Yanez's attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the charges, saying the evidence shows a lack of probable cause.

Ramsey County Judge Edward Wilson was appointed to preside over the trial on Monday afternoon. But a motion filed by Yanez's defense team late Thursday afternoon asked that Wilson be removed from the case.

Under state law, prosecutors and defense attorneys may each remove one judge without cause as long as it's within seven days of the judge's initial appointment. Future judges can only be removed for cause.

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Wilson, who is African-American, was appointed to his position by Gov. Rudy Perpich in 1987, according to the Minnesota Judicial Branch's website. He was a graduate of Macalester College and the University of Minnesota Law School. Wilson has also previously served on the state's sentencing guidelines commission and the state Supreme Court Racial Bias Task Force.

Ramsey County Chief District Judge John Guthmann will now need to appoint a new judge to preside over the trial.

Yanez's attorneys did not respond to requests for comment. The Ramsey County Attorney's Office also declined comment.

Yanez is also charged with two other felonies for dangerous discharge of a weapon in connection to the shooting.

Yanez made his second appearance in court on Monday, but has not yet entered a plea.