ST. LOUIS ( -- The prosecution wrapped up its case on Wednesday in the trial of three St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers accused of assaulting fellow officer, Luther Hall.

Steven Korte, Christopher Myers and Dustin Boone were indicted on a charge of deprivation of rights under the color of law. Korte also faces a charge of lying to the FBI and Myers faces an additional charge of destroying evidence. Officers Baily Colletta and Randy Hays were also indicted but have pleaded guilty. Hall was arrested while working as an undercover officer during protests in 2017 following the acquittal of officer Jason Stockley. He previously testified he was severely injured by the arresting officers even though he was complying with their commands.

In testimony Wednesday, St. Louis police officer Joslyn Stone said she worked with Korte and identified his voice on cellphone video recorded by Hall. Detective Andrew Kleffner testified that Myers told him Hall never resisted arrest and that it was Hays who threw Hall to the ground. Kleffner said in a conversation with Boone, he was very clear that all he did was hold Hall on the ground until he was handcuffed and didn't know who hit Hall because he didn't see it.

Officer Matthew Manley took the stand and told the jury he spoke with Myers about Hall's arrest and that Myers had trouble remembering his actions that night. Manley testified Myers told him, "I don't think I kicked him, I hope I didn't kick him." When defense attorneys questioned Kleffner and Manley, both admitted they didn't have any notes about what the defendants told them in 2017 and were going off of their memory.

The prosecutions final witness was Daniel Ogden, a senior digital investigative analyst with the Justice Department's computer crime and intellectual property section. Ogden read text messages retrieved from the Myers and Boone's cellphones, which appear to condone and plan for violence against protesters.

One text attributed to Boone was sent in response to a text from a friend telling him to be safe. The text read, "A lot of cops getting hurt. It's still a blast beating people who deserve it." Another text attributed to Boone read, "It's going to be a lot of fun beating the sh** out of these sh**heads." A text that was attributed to Myers appears to have been sent in response to another officer saying they'd be working together at the protest. It read, "Let's whoop some *ss." Ogden read a group text that was sent in response to a message about Hall that read, "I have been wanting to apologize to him [Hall] personally. We obviously didn't know he was a police officer."

All three defendants are being tried together. Defense attorney John Rogers, who represents Steven Korte, was the first to present his case. He called several officers to the stand who said they'd worked with Korte but couldn't identify his voice on the cellphone video of Hall's arrest. More defense witnesses are expected to testify on Thursday and the case is expected to go to the jury on Friday.

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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