CHICAGO (AP) – A Cook County judge says he will rule in December on the fate of a former Chicago police officer accused of murder in the 2017 death of a man.

Prosecutors say Lowell Houser, then an off-duty Chicago Police Department officer, shot to death of 38-year-old Jose Nieves during an argument outside an apartment complex where the victim lived.

The then 58-year-old Houser claims he acted in self-defense, saying Nieves made a threatening move.

Lowell Houser (Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office)

In closing arguments Thursday, Assistant State’s Attorney Kenneth Goff scoffed at Houser’s self-defense claims. Goff told Judge William Gamboney he wished he had a dollar for every case that officers claimed the suspect was a gangbanger and “he reached for his waistband.”

Defense attorney Thomas Needham said the only person who knew details of the argument before the shooting was Houser. He noted prosecutors offered no one who contradicted Houser’s account.

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