Jury deliberates in Peter Liang NYPD stairwell shooting trial

A motion for a mistrial was denied.

In a last effort as the jury deliberates, defense attorneys for Officer Peter Liang motioned the court on Wednesday for a mistrial, which the judge denied.

The defense argued prosecutors introduced new accusations during their closing arguments that were not supported by the charges.

“Our application is based on what we consider to be the inflammatory and inappropriate remarks that were made during the prosecutors’ summation yesterday,” said Rae Downes Koshetz, an attorney for Liang. “In this case the prosecutor yesterday accused Officer Liang of what amounted to intentional crimes of deliberately pointing the gun at Akai Gurley with the intent to shoot, which is not the charge, and also of a cover-up.

“He also said that the officer tried to find the shell casing in an effort to cover up what had occurred,” she added.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun denied the application, saying the argument “falls way short.” He said prosecutors have to prove Liang was aware of a risk and “disregarded that risk.”

Following the decision, the jury was reread portions of the testimony from Liang, his partner Shaun Landau and Melissa Butler, who was with Gurley when he died.

They also sent a note requesting several documents, including the transcript of the 911 call and crime-scene renderings.

The jurors also came into the courtroom to handle Liang’s gun. While most aimed as they pulled the trigger in the near-silent courtroom, a few held the gun at their sides as Liang has said he did that night.

Alison Fox