Jury finds Washington County deputy not guilty of manslaughter in shooting death of armed and suicidal man

Jury finds Washington County deputy not guilty of manslaughter in shooting death of armed and suicidal man

A Washington County jury has found Deputy Brian Krook not guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of an armed and suicidal man in 2018.

The jury returned its verdict Thursday morning, only a day after hearing closing arguments in the case with prosecutors calling Krook an “incredibly reckless” cowboy cop and his defense describing him as a hero who was “stone cold innocent.”

The jury took those two versions of Krook into deliberations along with evidence from the night of April 12, 2018, when Krook confronted and then fatally shot — without warning — 23-year-old Benjamin Evans after lengthy negotiations.

The trial, which opened last week, hinged on the question of Krook’s perception of danger: Was he justified in shooting a man who was kneeling in a public street while pointing a handgun at his own head and negotiating with another Washington County deputy?

This is a developing story. Turn to startribune.com for further developments.

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