For all of you Juan Martinez fans, cameras reportedly have been approved in the courtroom for the upcoming trial of Richard Chrisman with Judge Warren Granville presiding (and no longer Judge Sherry Stevens).
Officer Chrisman is accused of shooting Daniel Frank Rodriguez and his pit bull dog in October 2010. He has been charged with second degree murder and animal cruelty.
Ms. Elivira Fernandez wanted to teach her 29-year old son Daniel a lesson. She was upset that he had been throwing things at the wall of her mobile home and called 911. His mother told the 911 operator that her son was out of control. The police treated it as a domestic violence call.
Officer Chrisman and Officer Sergio Virgillo arrived on the scene. His mother asked the police to reason with her son but soon thereafter, her son was shot dead by Officer Chrisman.
Officer Chrisman allegedly entered the home without permission. According to the police report, Daniel and Officer Chrisman argued about the police not having a search warrant. Daniel said that it was his trailer and they had no right to be inside his home.
Officer Chrisman allegedly pulled out his weapon, put it to Daniel’s head and responded “yes we do motherf*cker.”
A physical struggle ensued and Officer Chrisman grabbed Daniel’s arm, attempting to detain him. Neither officer could control Daniel and at that point, Officer Chrisman sprayed “O.C.” spray in Daniel’s eyes.
As this was happening, one of the dogs was barking from across the room.
The spray was too strong for Officer Virgillo who then stepped outside but could hear the two men arguing. Officer Chrisman then tases Daniel multiple times. Daniel tries to leave with his bike and the dog begins to bark again. The situation is chaotic. It was at this point that Officer Chrisman shoots the dog.
Daniel is upset after his dog is shot and continues arguing with Officer Chrisman. Officer Virgillo says that the arguing, at this point, lasted for about five seconds, at which time he witnessed Officer Chrisman pull out his weapon and shoot Daniel.
According to the police report, Officer Virgillo did not think that the dog was a threat. Nor did he believe that Daniel’s bike was a threat to Officer Chrisman.
Officer Chrisman had pressed the gun so hard against the victim’s head that it left bruises that were noticed during the autopsy.
Officer Chrisman’s attorney has alleged that Daniel Rodriguez was high on drugs at the time of the incident. The victim was also allegedly armed with a sheathed knife that was located in his right back pants pocket.
Prosecutor Martinez will likely highlight a well-documented 2005 incident in which Officer Chrisman planted a crack pipe on a mentally ill homeless woman. Though Officer Chrisman said it was a prank, he was suspended for one day by the Phoenix Police Department.
Officer Chrisman is also on the Brady List, a database of “bad” police officers who have “questionable integrity.”