Defense for Norfolk officer charged in mentally ill man’s death argues for expert testimony

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Officer Michael Edington

NORFOLK, Va. – Officer Michael Edington was charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death of David Latham.

Latham was a mentally ill man who was holding a knife and threatening officers when his family called police for help back in 2014.

Edington was one of the officers who responded and Latham’s family says he used excessive force in connection with Michael’s death.

On Friday in the  Norfolk Courthouse Edington’s defense and David Latham’s family attorney carried out a motion hearing concerning defenses use of expert testimony in the trial.

Edington’s attorney stated that the defense wants to provide an expert in “deadly force incident analysis” to give testimony in the trial.

Edington’s attorney also made it clear that the expert would not be able to offer judgment on whether Edington should have taken the actions he did on the night of June 6.

Latham’s family attorney countered the motion with the contention that the expert has no personal knowledge Edington’s training and does not know Edington on any personal level.

The Latham’s attorney also brought up several cases showing precedent that the expert needs first hand knowledge in order to give testimony.

Edington’s attorney then added that the jury members would most likely not have prior law enforcement training and through the expert they want to call in, each member might better comprehend what was expected of Edington on that night.

The judge has not yet made a decision, the trial is set for September 26.

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