The latest: Murder case against former officer goes to jury

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) " The Latest on the first-degree murder trial of a white former police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teen in Virginia (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

The fate of a white former police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teen last year is now in the hands of a jury in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Stephen Rankin is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old William Chapman II. Jurors will have the option of convicting Rankin of a lesser charge, such as manslaughter, or nothing at all.

A prosecutor and a defense attorney wrapped up closing arguments Tuesday afternoon. They argued over whether Rankin had a choice in the matter of shooting Chapman. The officer testified that he feared for his life and shot Chapman after the teen knocked away his stun gun and charged at him.

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1:30 p.m.

A white former police officer on trial for first-degree murder in Virginia says he shot and killed an unarmed black teen after the 18-year-old knocked away his stun gun and charged toward him.

The former Portsmouth officer, Stephen Rankin, told a jury Tuesday that he was responding to a shoplifting call outside a Wal-Mart in April 2015. Rankin said William Chapman II ignored his commands and confronted him before they struggled.

While police seldom face criminal charges in shooting cases, the officer's rare trial comes amid increasing nationwide scrutiny of police tactics and race. Rankin was fired after his murder indictment. Witnesses have offered conflicting accounts over whether Chapman charged Rankin before the shooting. A jury is expected to start deliberations this week.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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