CHICAGO (CBS) — For the past three weeks, countless eyes in Chicago have been focused on a courtroom at 26th and California, watching the historic murder trial of Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, charged in the deadly shooting of Laquan McDonald.
Here is a timeline of the proceedings, from the start of jury selection to the guilty verdict.
Sep. 5, 2018: Jury selection began with potential jurors being given questionnaires to fill out. Two major questions still hung over the trial: would Judge Vincent Gaughan agree to move the trial out of Cook County, and would Van Dyke opt for a bench trial rather than a jury trial?
Sep. 6, 2018: Prosecutors asked Judge Vincent Gaughan to revoke Jason Van Dyke’s bail, after he granted media interviews to the Chicago Tribune and WFLD-TV, in violation of a court “decorum order.” Gaughan increased Van Dyke’s bail, and he was briefly taken back into custody before posting the $200 cash bond he needed to go free.
Sep. 10, 2018: The first five jurors were seated on the first day of face-to-face interviews. Potential jurors likely had to walk by a small group of protesters who were gathered out front calling for justice for McDonald.
Sep. 12, 2018: Five more jurors were chosen, after a one-day break in the proceedings in observance of 9/11. The latest jurors selected included the first African-American picked for the panel.
Sep. 13, 2018: Jury selection was completed after all 12 jurors and six alternates were chosen for the panel. All but one alternate juror was sworn in.
Sep. 14, 2018: Jason Van Dyke decides to request a trial by jury. He could have opted for a bench trial up until the point all of the jurors and alternates were sworn in. Judge Gaughan has yet to rule on the defense’s request for a change of venue.
Sep. 17, 2018: After Gaughan officially rejects the request for a change of venue, prosecutors and defense attorneys presented brief opening statements. Prosecutors called their first eight witnesses, and showed jurors a previously undisclosed dashboard camera video of a slow-faced pursuit of Laquan McDonald several minutes before Van Dyke arrived on the scene and shot the teenager.
Sep. 18, 2018: Police Officer Joseph Walsh, Van Dyke’s partner, testifies as prosecutors show jurors the infamous dashboard camera video of the fatal shooting for the first time.
Sep. 19, 2018: Cook County Medical Examiner Dr. Ponni Aunkamar walked the jury through Laquan McDonald’s autopsy, spending three hours to go through every gunshot wound.
Sep. 20, 2018: Prosecutors rest their case against Jason Van Dyke, after calling a total of 24 witnesses during four days of testimony. Their final witnesses included a use of force expert who said Van Dyke was not justified in shooting Laquan McDonald.
Sep. 24, 2018: As defense attorneys begin their case, they call three witnesses who testified about violent encounters with McDonald months and years before the shooting. The defense clearly wants to paint the jury a picture of McDonald as an out of control criminal.
Sep. 25, 2018: A defense witness who is an expert in video reconstruction shows jurors an animated recreation of the shooting from Jason Van Dyke’s perspective. Judge Gaughan also barred the defense from calling an officer who encountered McDonald about 19 hours before the shooting, or from presenting evidence about a CTA card McDonald had on him the night he was killed. The card belonged to a disabled veteran, but Gaughan said there is no proof McDonald used it.
Sep. 26, 2018: The truck driver whose 911 call set off the series of events that ended with Laquan McDonald’s death testified about an encounter with the teen in a truck yard. Rudy Barillas never identified McDonald by name, telling jurors he came across a “black male” who pulled a knife on him, but told jurors he was able to fight the young man off by throwing his cell phone at him, and then a handful of dirt.
Sep. 27, 2018: A woman who called 911 about Laquan McDonald the morning before the shooting tells jurors about the encounter, but her account is not nearly as harrowing as defense attorneys claimed in opening statements. Yvette Patterson said, even though they had never met, McDonald asked to borrow her car. She said she called 911 as a precaution, but was never in fear, and believed he was a “nice young man.”
Oct. 2, 2018: A day after the trial was delayed due to a sick juror, Jason Van Dyke took the stand in his own defense, claiming he just wanted McDonald to drop his knife. He told the jury the teen’s “eyes were bugging out of his head,” and he waved the knife towards him. “I shot him,” he testified.
Oct. 3, 2018: The defense rested its case, and prosecutors called only one rebuttal witness before testimony was completed.
Oct. 4, 2018: In closing arguments, prosecutors tell jurors Van Dyke had made up his mind to shoot McDonald even before setting eyes on him, while defense attorneys pointed the blame for the shooting at McDonald himself, saying his death was a tragedy, but not murder. Jurors deliberate for about four hours before they are sequestered for the night.
Oct. 4, 2018: Judge Vincent Gaughan threatens to revoke Jason Van Dyke’s bail after he is late returning to court when the jury sends two questions to the judge. Van Dyke and his attorneys explained his daughter had been threatened, and he was dealing with that, but the judge said he wants to see proof, and chides Van Dyke for not keeping his attorneys and the court informed about where he was.
Oct. 4, 2018: Two alternate jurors who were dismissed from the case tell reporters they were leaning towards convicting Van Dyke, pointing in particular to the video of the shooting.
Oct. 5, 2018: Judge Gaughan decides not to revoke Van Dyke’s bail after his attorneys tell the judge there is a police report documenting the threat made to his daughter, but Gaughan again berates Van Dyke for his tardiness.
Oct. 5, 2018: After deliberating for a total of about 7 ½ hours over parts of two days, jurors convict Van Dyke of one count of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery, but acquit him of official misconduct. Judge Gaughan revokes Van Dyke’s bail and sets his next court date for Oct. 31.