A Douglas County jury began deliberating Thursday afternoon in the case of a 20-year-old Lawrence man accused of punching and injuring Lawrence police officer Jonathon Evinger during a February incident near 26th and Iowa streets.
David Melton, a chief assistant district attorney, on Thursday accused Louis Galloway Jr. of throwing a “haymaker” punch and striking Evinger in the left eye around 5 a.m. Feb. 26. Evinger has not been able to return to regular patrol duty because of the injury affecting his vision.
Defense attorney Michael Clarke argued to jurors there was not enough evidence for them to determine that Galloway intentionally struck Evinger.
Prosecutors are asking jurors to convict Galloway of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer for Evinger’s injuries and misdemeanors including assault and battery on another Lawrence officer, Stephen Ramsdell.
The officers were trying to arrest Galloway for driving with a suspended license, but Galloway disputed he was driving.
Melton on Thursday played a grainy and dark video recorded from Ramsdell’s dashboard camera in which an officer identified as Evinger can be seen falling down briefly and then later getting up to help Ramsdell try to subdue Galloway and his brother, who Evinger sprayed with pepper spray.
On the video Evinger later falls to the ground again. Doctors said he suffered a concussion as well.
Ramsdell said Galloway can be heard yelling at the officers on the video. Jurors began deliberating at 4:15 p.m. Thursday before deciding to go home for the evening, and they will resume deliberating today.