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Opening statements begin in trial for Norfolk Police Officer charged with voluntary manslaughter

Posted at 1:49 PM, Sep 27, 2016

NORFOLK, Va. - On day two of Michael Edington's trial, the court heard opening statements from the Commonwealth's Attorney and defense attorney.

Officer Edington is charged with Voluntary Manslaughter after shooting David Latham on June 6, 2014. At the beginning of court Monday, Edington entered a plea of not guilty to the charge against him. He also opted for a jury trial. By Monday evening, the final jury was selected.

The Commonwealth's Attorney told the jury he wants them to focus on what David Latham was doing when he was killed.

Prosecutors say he was standing with a knife in his hand, but did not approach police.

The defense says the scene inside the house was "terrifying," and Edington felt threatened.

The defense attorneys also say Edington saw Latham move slightly while holding the knife, prompting him to begin firing.

However, the Commonwealth's Attorney says Edington was not justified in killing Latham.

Around the time of Latham's death, prosecutors say Edington wasn't emotionally stable enough to be at work.

A week prior, his friend and co-worker Officer Brian Jones was killed on the job.

The Commonwealth said many officers reported seeing Edington hysterically crying over Officer Jones' death. One officer suggested Edington needed counseling, but he continued to work.

The night Edington responded to David's home, the Commonwealth's Attorney said Edington yelled, "I'm sick of this" when the call came in.

Latham's family called 911 after he began chasing them around their house with a knife. They say he suffered from mental illnesses.

When Edington got there, he told Latham to drop the knife, but the defense says Latham refused and made threats. The defense said Latham slightly moved while holding the 12-inch knife.

Seconds later, Edington fired six shots, killing Latham.

The trial is expected to last through next week.

Click here for full coverage on the story and trial