David Cobb, A police officer in Richmond for more than 9 years pled not guilty by self defense Thursday in his murder trial for shooting an unarmed man in the process of stealing his car.
Cobb drove his girlfriend’s car to a car wash in October of last year, when 18 year-old Brown hopped in the car and drove it into the tunnel-style car wash. Once out, Brown continued to drive the car away, with Cobb hanging on to the side of the car by the driver door handle.
Once Cobb identified himself as a police officer to the 18 year-old, Brown reportedly yelled, “I don’t f*** with the cops!” Cobb stated in court Thursday that at that point Brown reached across his lap for something in his pocket, and Cobb opened fire.
On the stand, Cobb related how he learned about Brown’s death, and started to cry on the stand. The judge allowed a ten minute recess so the officer could recuperate long enough to continue his testimony.
“My intent was not to kill Brown, but to stop the threat,” Cobb said. He later stated that he “believed my life and civilian’s lives were at risk.”
Brown had been convicted of grand larceny once before. Brown sat in wait in a car, and when the owner sat down, he put a gun to her head and demanded she turn over the keys. In that case, prosecuters opted to only ask for a 12 month sentence, but the judge gave Brown six months of house arrest.
Brown turned out to be unarmed, but did test positive for marijuana at autopsy. The Jury is set to decide the case late Thursday.
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