Testimony over in murder trial of ex-Mesa police officer

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Philip "Mitch" Brailsford answered questions from the prosecution on Thursday. (Source: Pool) Philip "Mitch" Brailsford answered questions from the prosecution on Thursday. (Source: Pool)
Prosecutor Susie Charbel went back and forth with Brailsford, questioning his repeated claims that he did not want the shooting of Daniel Shaver to happen. (Source: Pool) Prosecutor Susie Charbel went back and forth with Brailsford, questioning his repeated claims that he did not want the shooting of Daniel Shaver to happen. (Source: Pool)
Brailsford testified on Wednesday that he believed Shaver was reaching for a gun in the waistband of his shorts. (Source: Pool) Brailsford testified on Wednesday that he believed Shaver was reaching for a gun in the waistband of his shorts. (Source: Pool)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The murder trial of former Mesa police officer Philip “Mitch” Brailsford is coming to a close.

On Thursday, jurors heard from the final witnesses in the case. Closing arguments are set for Tuesday, and then the jury will begin their deliberations.   

Thursday morning, the prosecution finished cross-examination of Brailsford. Prosecutor Susie Charbel went back and forth with Brailsford, questioning his repeated claims that he did not want the shooting of Daniel Shaver to happen.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Mesa police officer shoots, kills unarmed man in motel]

"So at that moment, you did want to shoot him, correct?”

“No ma'am,” Brailsford replied.

“So, you were just being reckless when you shot him?” 

“No, certainly not,” Brailsford replied.

“Were you being careless?” asked Charbel.

“No, ma'am,” Brailsford said. 

[RAW VIDEO: Ex-Mesa police officer continues to testify in own trial on Thursday (Part 1)]

"Was it an accident?" asked Charbel.

“No, ma'am,” Brailsford replied.

“So, you wanted to shoot him and you shot him?” asked Charbel.

“No, I did not want to shoot him, ma'am,” Brailsford replied.

“Well, if it wasn't an accident and it wasn't carelessness and it wasn't recklessness, then you intended to shoot him, correct?” asked Charbel.

“I was doing what I needed to do to protect my fellow men and the woman we had just taken into custody," Brailsford replied.

[RAW VIDEO: Ex-Mesa police officer continues to testify in own trial on Thursday (Part 2)]

Brailsford testified on Wednesday that he believed Shaver was reaching for a gun in the waistband of his shorts.

[READ MORE: Former Mesa police officer on trial for murder testifies]

Charbel challenged Shaver on his memory the night of the shooting in January 2016 because he did not remember some of the details of what happened that night.

[RAW VIDEO: Final testimony in murder trial of ex-Mesa police officer]

“This was a very traumatic event, was it not?” Charbel replied.

“Absolutely,” Brailsford said.

“But you did not remember a lot of the details of what happened that night, correct?” Charbel asked.

“I’m not perfect and I had my Axon body camera running at that time. So, that was going to be the best type of recording that we could have,” Brailsford said.

[RELATED: Only civilian witness to Mesa police shooting testifies in cop's murder trial]

He is charged in the shooting death of Daniel Shaver at a hotel in Mesa in January of 2016. Shaver is from Texas. Officers went to the hotel on a call that someone was pointing a rifle out a window.

[RELATED: Mesa cop facing murder charge 'very confident' he'll be exonerated (Oct. 21, 2016)]

Before ending his testimony, Brailsford reiterated that he 100 percent believes Shaver was reaching for a gun and that if the exact situation were to happen again, he would make the same decision to shoot.  

[RELATED: Judge orders release of portions of body cam video in Mesa police shooting (May 17, 2016)]

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Donna RossiEmmy Award-winning reporter Donna Rossi joined CBS 5 News in September 1994.

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Donna Rossi

In that time, Donna has covered some of the most high-profile stories in the Valley and across the state. Donna's experience as a four-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department gives her a keen sense of crime and court stories. She offered gavel to gavel coverage of the 1999 sleepwalking murder trial of Scott Falater, and the trial and conviction of retired Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien for a fatal hit and run accident. She also spent 2 straight weeks in northeastern Arizona in the summer of 2011 covering the Wallow Fire, the largest wildfire in Arizona history.

Donna's reputation as a fair and accurate journalist has earned her the respect of her colleagues and community. Her talent as a reporter has earned her more than a dozen Arizona Associated Press Awards and five Emmy statue.

Donna previously worked as an anchor and reporter in Tucson and got her start in broadcast journalism in Flagstaff. Donna is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves on the NATAS board. She is a member of IFP/Phoenix, a non-profit organization of local film and documentary makers.

Donna was born in New York and moved to the Valley with her family when she was 9 years old. She is a graduate of Maryvale High School and attended Arizona State University. She graduated cum laude from Northern Arizona University.

In her free time, Donna enjoys boating on Bartlett Lake, all forms of music and theatre. Donna frequently donates her time to speak to community organizations and emcee their events. She is a past board member of DUET, a non-profit which helps promote health and well-being for older adults. Donna also loves donating her time to youth organizations and groups who work to secure and safeguard human rights.

On Oct. 17, 2015, Donna was honored for her amazing work over the years. The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Academy of Televisions Arts and Sciences inducted her into its Silver Circle. It's one of the organization's most prestigious honors for which only a few candidates are selected each year.

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