St. Louis News:
ST. LOUIS – Two former St. Louis Police officers accused in the beating of a fellow officer will wait at least another day to learn their fates. Jurors were sent home Wednesday after deliberating for more than seven hours.
Former officers Dustin Boone and Christopher Myers are on trial for a second time in three months in federal court. Another federal jury came back with mixed verdicts the first time.
The case stems from the September 2017 police beating of undercover detective Luther Hall. Hall was tracking protesters’ activities during an anti-police demonstration in downtown St. Louis. He was left with a pinkie-sized hole in his lip and needed spinal fusion surgery in his neck.
Boone was accused of depriving hall of his civil rights through his role in what prosecutors consider a racially motivated beating. The prosecution’s evidence included racist text messages from Boone saying he wanted to beat protesters.
Myers was accused of destroying evidence by allegedly smashing Hall’s cellphone. Jurors could not reach a verdict on these charges in the first trial. Myers was acquitted on a civil rights count. Officer Stephen Korte was acquitted on all counts at that trial.
Attorneys for Boone and Myers maintain they were nowhere near Hall when he was beaten and that Boone’s offensive text messages were not proof of a crime.
They also point out that guilty parties have already been convicted in the case. Former officers Randy Hays and Bailey Coletta await sentencing after pleading guilty.