Vermont officer seeks dismissal in shooting


BURLINGTON (AP) -- A Vermont police officer facing charges he shot a mentally ill man is asking a judge to dismiss the charges against him.

Winooski Police Cpl. Jason Nokes argues the state cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Nokes did not act in self-defense or that he acted recklessly when he shot and wounded a suspect in April 2013.

Nokes’ decision to fire his weapon was "consistent with the Winooski Police Department’s use of force policy which authorizes the use of deadly force when an ‘officer is faced with imminent threat of serious bodily harm or death to him/herself, or some other person who is present,"’ said the motion filed by Nokes’ attorney Brooks McArthur.

Nokes, 43, of Milton has pleaded not guilty a charge of aggravated assault with a weapon, reckless endangerment and giving false information to a police officer.

The motion said that Isaac Sage, without warning or provocation, punched Nokes in the face in April 2013, causing Nokes to become disoriented and to receive a concussion and broken nose.

Sage was shot in the leg after three attempts to use a stun gun on him failed to stop Sage, the motion said.

Nokes initially told state police investigators that he thought the man who had assaulted him on a Winooski street, Isaac Sage, was carrying a knife, but Nokes later admitted he never saw a weapon.

Charges against Sage were dismissed after he was found incompetent to stand trial.

The Burlington Free Press ( reports Nokes remains on medical leave due to injuries received in the incident.

Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan said his office would respond to the motion.

"We charged the case and we intend to see it through," Donovan said.


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