Justin Chipman defence wants charges dropped, citing excessive force
The trial for a man convicted of theft and accused of trying to run over several Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers while attempting to escape is over, except for the verdict.
Justin Chipman was shot and wounded by a member of the RNC during a stake-out at the parking lot of Memorial University's Field House in St. John's in February.
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Summations to decide who was the real aggressor, Chipman or the police, were presented in provincial court on Monday.
Defence lawyer Ken Mahoney is asking the courts to drop the charges of assaulting a police officer, on the grounds that police used excessive force.
Mahoney said the circumstances did not justify lethal force executed by police.
Const. Dustin Spurrell, the officer who fired the shot at Chipman, previously testified he aimed to kill, but missed, and his bullet only grazed Chipman's chest.
Spurrell testified he fired when he feared for his life, and the safety of his fellow RNC officers, as the SUV that Chipman was driving spun towards him.
Conflicting testimony was previously presented in court, with other police officers saying Spurrell was standing right next to to the driver's window of the SUV, shooting at Chipman point blank, while the vehicle was hardly moving.
Crown prosecutor Jennifer Colford conceded Spurrell's account of exactly where he stood before he fired the gun was mistaken, and instead presented her own theory of where he must have been standing.
Judge Lois Skanes said he has a hard time visualizing Colford's proposed theory.
All parties — the Crown, the defence, and the judge — agreed there's been a lot of contradictory evidence in this case.
Judge Skanes will provide a verdict on Aug. 29.