Van Dyke Trial Live Blog: Judge Cancels Court Due to Sick Juror

Monday would have marked the fifth day of the defense phase in the trial for the officer charged in Laquan McDonald's Shooting

What to Know

  • Van Dyke is charged with murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old McDonald nearly four years ago
  • The Chicago police officer was captured on dashcam video shooting McDonald 16 times the night of Oct. 20, 2014, on the city's Southwest Side
  • Van Dyke entered a plea of not guilty

After a brief recess Monday morning, a judge unexpectedly canceled court for the day in the trial for Jason Van Dyke, the officer charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald.

The judge said there were "difficulties," but did not offer further information.

A court spokesperson later confirmed the cancellation was due to a sick juror. Court was scheduled to resume Tuesday. 

Monday would have marked the fifth day of the defense phase in the case. 

Last week, defense attorneys spent four days calling more than a dozen witnesses as they argued the Chicago teen posed a threat in the moments before he was shot 16 times by Van Dyke in 2014. 

Among the witnesses called was a retired CPD weapons instructor, who testified that officers are trained to shoot "until the threat is eliminated" when"reasonable and necessary." 

Nicholas Pappas told a jury "there's no telling how many rounds it could take to do that." 

But prosecutors pressed Pappas on whether such a shooting should be classified as "reasonable or necessary."

It remains unclear if Van Dyke himself will take the stand.

Attorneys have said that Van Dyke never should have been charged with murder because of an Illinois law that protects peace officers trying to arrest fleeing felons. 

On Tuesday, jurors were shown a recreation of the fatal shooting from the officer's perspective that was based on laser analysis of the scene and looked like it was taken straight from a video game. 

According to defense attorneys, the video showed that McDonald was closing the distance between himself and Van Dyke before the officer opened fire. Prosecutors have argued dashcam video shows McDonald appearing to walk away as Van Dyke shot the teen 16 times on Oct. 20. 2014. 

Van Dyke was charged with six counts of first-degree murder more than a year after he shot McDonald on the city's Southwest Side. He entered a plea of not guilty. 

Special prosecutors rested their case against Van Dyke Thursday after calling 24 witnesses over three and a half days. 

So far in the trial, the jury saw dashcam video of the shooting, graphic autopsy images of the more than a dozen gunshot wounds on the body of McDonald, the recreated video of the shooting and video showing 16 gunshots fired in under 14 seconds. 

They have also heard testimony from several Chicago police officers and witnesses at the scene, seen the weapon Van Dyke used, and watched as FBI specialists demonstrated the shooting. 

Follow along live from court as the defense enters day five of its case.

9:52 a.m.: Court spokesperson confirms a sick juror led to today’s cancellation of testimony at Jason Van Dyke trial.

9:30 a.m.: BREAKING: No testimony in Jason Van Dyke trial today. After a short recess, Judge Gaughan only said there were some difficulties and court will resume tomorrow.

Contact Us