RELATED: Beavercreek appeals ruling in deadly Walmart shooting
The trial has been pushed back to Oct. 28 — more than five years after Williams shot twice and killed Crawford in Beavercreek’s Walmart — to give the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals time to decide on an appeal by Beavercreek to another ruling. The appeals court ruling could impact whether Beavercreek defendants and Walmart go to trial together.
Crawford, 22, of Fairfield, was shot Aug. 5, 2014 after 911 caller Ronald Ritchie told dispatchers a black man was holding a rifle, appeared to be loading it and waving it near people, including children.
RELATED: Judge rules most of Crawford suit against Beavercreek can go to trial
Crawford was holding a Crosman MK-177 BB/pellet rifle he found unpackaged on a store shelf.
Williams and Sgt. David Darkow responded to Walmart, and Williams fired within seconds of seeing Crawford after officers said they shouted out commands. Surveillance video and evidence showed Crawford was on his cell phone talking to the mother of his two children.
RELATED: Crawford attorneys say Beavercreek experts implicate officer in shooting
Other rulings by Rice in Dayton’s U.S. District Court this week:
• Rice sustained Beavercreek’s motion to exclude testimony in the first part of the trial about Williams’ higher rates of using force and of his other use of deadly force. The judge said if the jury finds a constitutional violation against Williams, that evidence could be used in the case against the city and Evers.
• Rice overruled for now Beavercreek’s motion exclude references to a “toy gun,” “air gun,” “pellet rifle” and other similar terms, again depending on the appellate court’s decision.
RELATED: Officer who fired fatal shots thought Crawford “was about to” point a weapon at him
• Rice overruled as moot Beavercreek motions to exclude references to other high-profile instances of law enforcement shooting black men and to Beavercreek’s dispute with the Greater Dayton RTA concerning bus stops. Rice said plaintiffs did not plan to reference those situations.
• Rice sustained Beavercreek’s motion to exclude testimony of Williams’ tattoo of a warthog dressed as an officer with a smoking gun.
• Rice sustained a plaintiff’s motion to exclude testimony regarding a minimal amount of marijuana found in Crawford’s body.
RELATED: Officer: Shooting Crawford without giving him time to respond was OK
• Rice overruled Walmart’s motion to exclude evidence of the MK-177 being out of its box, overruled its motion to exclude employee discipline, sustained Walmart’s motion to exclude talk of punitive damages and overruled its motion to exclude testimony about how Walmart stores actual firearms.
• Rice also overruled Walmart’s motion to exclude the introduction of an email from a Minnesota shopper who said two children picked up an air rifle, pointed it at customers and therefore said such items should be stored in the same manner as actual firearms.
RELATED: Williams used force nearly 10 times the department average
A Greene County special grand jury in 2014 cleared Williams of any criminal charges. A federal civil right investigation against Beavercreek police was closed in 2017 when it was determined they did not have enough evidence to go forward.
Shopper Angela Williams died of a heart condition after she tried to run out of the Walmart that night after the officer’s shots. Her family did not take any legal action.
RELATED: Feds won’t charge Beavercreek officer in Walmart shooting
RELATED: Prosecutor said case was ‘tragic’ and ‘perfect storm of circumstances’
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