DEFENSE: 'He had an instant to make a judgment call'

DEFENSE: 'He had an instant to make a judgment call'
Bryon Vassey (Source: BCSO)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The state rested Tuesday in the sixth day of the bench trial involving former Southport police sergeant Bryon Vassey, who is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of 18-year-old Keith Vidal.

The incident happened at Vidal's home on President Drive on Jan. 5, 2014.

Vidal's parents called 911 for assistance with their son, who they felt could have harmed himself and had a screwdriver in his hand.

Vassey, the last officer at the scene, fired a single shot 70 seconds after arriving, according to the incident report. Vidal was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tuesday, the defense asked the judge to hear a motion to dismiss the voluntary manslaughter case, stating Vassey was performing a sworn duty to protect other officers by shooting 18-year-old Keith Vidal.

Vassey's attorney's stated that earlier testimony from Vidal's step-father Mark Wilsey showed he was telling Vidal to "stop being violent."

They also said it was heard in the recording of a Boiling Spring Lakes Police officer's body mic that Wilsey said "he was trying to stab that officer," after the gun had gone off.

The state, however, told the judge that Wilsey did not say, "he was trying to stab that officer." Instead, they say that comment was made by Vassey and other witnesses recognized the voice to be Vassey's as well.

Court went into an extended lunch recess around noon and went back in session at 3:30 p.m. The judge then denied the defense's motion to dismiss the voluntary manslaughter charge.

"The judge knows there was something that took place here, Wilsey said in response to the judge denying the defense's motion. "He knows there was a crime that took place and he's not going to dismiss it because they asked for a dismissal."

Continue to follow Jasmine Turner on Twitter in this trial: @JasmineWECT 

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