Kim Potter trial: Jury to be sequestered while deliberating charges in shooting death of Daunte Wright

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MINNEAPOLIS – The jury tasked with determining the fate of former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter will be sequestered once deliberations begin on Monday after both sides deliver their closing arguments. 

The prosecution and defense delivered their final attempts at convincing the jury of their case on Monday morning in a Minneapolis courtroom, where former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter is standing trial on first- and second-degree manslaughter for the death of Daunte Wright. 

The jury will be sequestered to a local hotel, during which time they will only be allowed to contact family. If a verdict is not reached by Thursday, Dec. 23rd, the jury will be allowed to return home for Christmas Eve and the Christmas holiday. Unless a verdict is reached by that time, deliberations will resume on Monday, Dec. 27th.

KIM POTTER TRIAL: DEFENSE RESTS CASE AFTER FORMER MINNEAPOLIS-AREA POLICE OFFICER WRAPS EMOTIONAL TESTIMONY

The 12-person jury is made up of nine White panelists and three people of color – two Asian women and a Black woman. Six jurors are men and six are women. The alternate jurors are a White man and a White woman. 

Led by prosecutor Erin Eldridge, the state finished its closing arguments after roughly an hour at the podium, making way for the defense to do so. 

KIM POTTER TAKING THE WITNESS STAND IS ‘A DO-OR-DIE STRATEGY,’ ATTORNEY SAYS

Potter, 49, has been charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter for fatally shooting Wright during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb, on April 11, 2021. The 26-year police veteran and other officers, including a trainee, were attempting to arrest Wright when he tried to get back into his vehicle, video shows.

The officers had attempted to stop Wright and then tried to detain him after learning of a warrant for his arrest. Wright, 20, can be seen in a police video climbing back into the driver’s seat of a vehicle as the officers scuffle with him. 

In Potter’s body camera footage from the shooting, she can be heard yelling, “I’ll tase you!” and “Taser! Taser! Taser!” before firing her handgun.

KIM POTTER TRIAL: DAUNTE WRIGHT, REPEAT OFFENDER KILLED BY EX-COP, APPEARS IN YET ANOTHER FELONY COMPLAINT

She can then be heard saying, “I grabbed the wrong f—— gun,” followed by: “Holy s—, I just shot him.”

FILE - This photo provided by Ben Crump Law, PLLC. shows Daunte Wright and his son, Daunte Jr., at his first birthday party. Wright, 20, was fatally shot by Kim Potter, a white suburban Minneapolis police officer, during a traffic stop on Sunday, April 11, 2021. 

FILE – This photo provided by Ben Crump Law, PLLC. shows Daunte Wright and his son, Daunte Jr., at his first birthday party. Wright, 20, was fatally shot by Kim Potter, a white suburban Minneapolis police officer, during a traffic stop on Sunday, April 11, 2021. 
(Ben Crump Law, PLLC. via AP)

The prosecution called 25 witnesses to the stand over six days of testimony. Meanwhile, the defense called eight witnesses over a two-day period. 

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Potter testified for about three hours on Friday before the defense rested its case. She has said she mistook her handgun for her Taser when she opened fire. 

She faces up to 15 years on the first-degree charge and up to 10 years for second-degree.

Prosecutors have said they are seeking an enhanced sentence, meaning that if Potter is convicted, she will be tried a second time – before she is sentenced – over whether there were aggravating factors involved in the shooting. Specifically, if the jury finds Potter guilty, prosecutors will be required to prove their allegations that Potter abused her position of power and she created a danger for the public.

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