Fate of state trooper charged with 1st-degree manslaughter now in hands of jury

Jurors began deliberating Wednesday afternoon after the defense and prosecution presented their closing arguments. North is charged with first-degree manslaughter.

Mark Sudol

Mar 13, 2024, 4:14 PM

Updated 41 days ago

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A six-person jury will now decide the fate of Connecticut state trooper Brian North, charged with manslaughter in the death of 19-year-old Mubarak Soulemane at the end of a high-speed chase four years ago.
Jurors began deliberating Wednesday afternoon after the defense and prosecution presented their closing arguments. North is charged with first-degree manslaughter.
Soulemane crashed his car in January 2020 in West Haven after he allegedly stole a car in Norwalk and led police on a high-speed chase. Soulemane, holding a knife, was surrounded by police and shot seven times by North.
The defense rested its case Tuesday. The state called a rebuttal witness to the stand Wednesday morning.
Former NYPD officer Darrin Porcher took the stand for the prosecution. He has been trained to determine what an officer can and can't do in high-pressure situations. Porcher says he was brought in to investigate this case.
The defense has argued that North was trying to protect the other officers at the scene. Porcher says North's use of deadly force four years ago was not justiied.
"Based on Mr. Soulemane appearing to be out of it, that would have been the perfect time to take a pause and allow a supervisor to respond," said Porcher.
In his closing arguments, Inspector General Robert Devlin says North was reckless in his actions.
"It's not justified. There's no credible evidence at all by testimony that anyone was in imminent danger," said Devlin.
Defense attorney Frank Riccio says there is no evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that North was reckless and that Soulemane showed no compliance with the officers.
"Brian North is not guilty. He did not commit a crime," said Riccio.
North faces up to 40 years behind bars if convicted. He has been placed on administrative leave, and his police powers are suspended pending the outcome of the case.


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