Sep 4, 2013 12:07 PM by Associated Press

Former Phoenix officer testifies in murder trial

PHOENIX (AP) - A former Phoenix police officer charged with murder and animal cruelty returns to the witness stand after a tearful day of testimony describing how he feared for his life when he fatally shot a man during a domestic violence call.

Richard Chrisman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, aggravated assault and animal cruelty. He maintains the shootings of 29-year-old Daniel Rodriguez and his dog in October 2010 were justified because Rodriguez reached for the officer's gun and tried to attack him with a bicycle.

Prosecutors say Chrisman abused his police powers by killing an unarmed man, and that he is lying about what happened.

The nine-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department resumes testimony Wednesday morning after first taking the witness stand a day earlier. Trial began in August.


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