Day 2 of trial for former Portsmouth officer accused in teen’s murder

Posted at 7:13 AM, Jul 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-28 18:14:44-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Opening statements began Thursday in the murder trial of former Portsmouth Police officer Stephen Rankin.

Commonwealth's Attorney Stephanie Morales started off by talking about the cases and proving that Rankin did the shooting with indent.

Morales said that through the course of the Commonwealth's evidence about the state of mind of the defendant after the incident.

"I would ask you that you not check your common sense at the door," said Morales.

Defense attorney James Broccoletti said to the jurors that they will hear Rankin repeatedly tell William Chapman to get on the ground.  He said Chapman did not comply with the officers orders.  He said Rankin did what he was trained to do and did not want to kill Chapman, but needed to.

Thursday we heard testimony from police officers, a firefighters, a person shopping at Walmart and state police investigators.

The trial began Wednesday with the jury selection process. The process started with the judge asking questions to the potential jurors about whether or not they can be fair during this high profile case.

15 people were chosen for the jury pool.  12 jurors and three alternates, however alternates won't know they are alternates until the end of the trial.

Rankin was indicted on first degree murder charges for shooting and killing 18-year-old William Chapman during an incident that occurred on April 22, 2015 in the parking lot of the Walmart located at 1098 Frederick Blvd. in Portsmouth.

In August 2015, the Commonwealth's Attorney announced that they had completed their investigation into the shooting death of Chapman and announced that officials were seeking an indictment against Rankin.

In early July, a judge denied a motion to delay Rankin's trial. His attorneys entered the motion to delay because Rankin believes that the recent police shootings nationwide could impact the case. On Tuesday, a judge denied a motion to change the venue of the trial.

Watch opening statements below or by clicking here.


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