NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— A jury has officially been seated in the murder trial of Darren Bridges, the man accused of fatally shooting NOPD Officer Marcus McNeil during a 2017 traffic stop. However, opening statements were delayed on Wednesday after defense attorneys questioned the racial makeup of the jurors.
Judge Angel Harris decided to proceed with the trial despite the defense’s request for a delay.
During opening statements, District Attorney Jason Williams told the jury evidence will show Bridges intended to kill officer Marcus McNeil.
Williams said that Bridges shot McNeil twice, had the opportunity to run away but fired the third shot, killing McNeil.
By the end of the day, the jury heard from four witnesses in the trial, including NOPD officers who worked alongside McNeil on the morning of October 13, 2017.
Jurors were shown body cam footage from that morning, including the moment Officer Michael Sartain found McNeil face-down on the ground, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The footage triggered an emotional response from some in the courtroom, including Sartain and McNeil’s mother.
But, attorneys representing Bridges argued he shot McNeil after being unlawfully tased from the back. The defense says the jury must find Bridges not guilty if they are not convinced his intent was to kill McNeil.
The trial resumes on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. Stay updated with the latest on WGNO.com.