Trial to start in deputy's fatal shooting of unarmed man

HOUSTON (AP) — Opening statements are scheduled in the trial of a former Texas sheriff's deputy who fatally shot an unarmed man whose family says was suffering a mental health crisis during a 2018 confrontation in Houston.

Former Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Cameron Brewer is charged with aggravated assault by a public servant in the death of 35-year-old Danny Ray Thomas. Thomas was black, as is Brewer.

A jury was set to begin hearing testimony following opening statements Thursday.

Moments leading up to the shooting were captured on video. Thomas had his pants around his ankles and was unarmed as he advanced toward Brewer.

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Brewer's attorneys say the deputy felt justified in using force against a man whom he believed was high on drugs.

If convicted, Brewer faces up to life in prison.

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