PHOENIX — A former Phoenix police officer charged with murder and animal
cruelty in the on-duty killing of a man and his dog during a domestic violence
call has taken the witness stand in his trial.
Prosecutors said Richard Chrisman abused his police powers when he fatally shot
29-year-old Daniel Rodriguez in October 2010 even though the unarmed man posed
no threat to officers.
Chrisman, who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, aggravated
assault and animal cruelty charges, has maintained the shooting was justified because
Rodriguez reached for the officer’s gun during a tussle that preceded the
The nine-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department began his testimony
Tuesday explaining how he responded to the call with his partner. He was
expected to continue testimony Tuesday afternoon.