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Trial Set for Officer Charged With Shooting a Man

Trial Set for Officer Charged With Shooting a Man

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Granite School District police officer who's charged in connection with the shooting a man last October will go to trial.

Yesterday, a judge ordered 45-year-old Officer Richard Todd Rasmussen to stand trial. He's charged with aggravated assault.

Authorities say Rasmussen began a car pursuit with Anthony Chavez, who was suspected of driving a stolen car. Chavaz then abandoned the car, jumped a fence, and ran into the backyard of a house.

Rasmussen fired a shot, striking Chavez in the left thigh. However, prosecutors claim Rasmussen had no need to use deadly force. But Rasmussen says he fired his gun after Chavez lunged at him and he feared Chavez might grab his gun.

However, a forensic expert argues Chavez's gun wound is inconsistent with lunging.

If convicted, Rasmussen could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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