The judge who acquitted a white former St. Louis police officer in the killing of a black man is described as objective and well-respected by prosecutors and defense lawyers.
St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson has ruled both for and against police during his 28 years on the bench.
The judge wrote in his opinion Friday that he wasn’t “firmly convinced” Jason Stockley was guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith following a high-speed chase. Stockley shot Smith five times, saying he saw Smith holding a gun. Prosecutors claimed Stockley planted a gun in Smith’s car.
Wilson agreed to waive a jury trial and decide the case against Stockley over the objection of prosecutors.
Wilson must retire when he turns 70 in December.