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L.A. County Deputy to Go On Trial For 2019 On-Duty Murder

A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy will go on trial for the fatal on-duty shooting of an unarmed 24-year-old man in 2019. Andrew Lyons, 38, will be just the second officer to stand trial in L.A.County for an on-duty shooting in the past 20 years, said District Attorney George Gascón, Courthouse News Service reports. Lyons was charged with one count of voluntary manslaughter and two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm in the fatal shooting of Ryan Twyman. At a hearing Friday, he waived his right to a preliminary hearing, which would be held to determine if the prosecution has enough evidence to bring a case to trial. “I am obviously very encouraged by the outcome of today’s proceeding,” Gascón said. “This has been a very long painful journey for the Twyman family. They have waited far too long for some semblance of justice. I know we are not quite there yet but we are definitely moving in the right direction.”

Under Gascón, the DA's office has filed more officer-involved shooting cases against officers who were on duty than under the two previous DAs combined. Gascón's reform-minded agenda has made him a lightning rod for criticism by more conservative voices in law enforcement since he took office in December 2020 and was in an unsuccessful recall campaign in 2022. Even with the more widespread outcry over killings of unarmed suspects by police since the murder of George Floyd in 2020, it may still be a difficult hurdle to get a jury to convict an officer for a fatal shooting. In 2021, a jury acquitted Luke Liu, the first officer to go on trial in more than two decades in L.A.County for an on-duty shooting, of voluntary manslaughter of an unarmed driver at a gas station. Lyons was charged in the June 6, 2019, shooting of Twyman as he tried to drive away when Lyons and another deputy approached his car in a parking lot of an apartment building. The officers were looking for Twyman, a convicted felon on probation, after county detectives found firearms he wasn't allowed to possess during a search of his apartment.


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