Aug 7, 2013 6:52 PM by Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) - A prosecutor says a former Phoenix police officer on trial in the fatal shootings of a man and his dog during a domestic dispute call had abused his police powers by killing them even though they weren't posing a threat to anyone's safety.
Richard Chrisman faces second-degree murder, aggravated assault and animal cruelty charges in the October 2010 death of Daniel Rodriguez at his Phoenix trailer.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez says in opening statements Wednesday at the former officer's trial that Chrisman allowed the situation to escalate unnecessarily to the point to where he fatally shot Rodriguez.
Chrisman's attorney is scheduled to make opening statements Wednesday afternoon.
Chrisman has pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintains the shooting was justified because Rodriguez had reached for the officer's gun.