CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY)– Edmund Hoyt is charged with voluntary manslaughter. Hoyt’s first trial ended in a mistrial.
Hoyt is a Norfolk police officer accused of killing Kelvin White during a confrontation in January 2020. Hoyt was off-duty at the time when received a call from his wife about a man threatening her.
Hoyt has claimed self-defense and maintains White had a knife and was coming close to him.
On Day 2 of testimony, the Commonwealth called two forensic scientists. One testified about a firearm and shell casings evidence — the other tested DNA at the scene.
The commonwealth’s attorney ended with a homicide detective. Hoyt’s police headquarter interview was shown. Hoyt recalled the night to the detective. When Hoyt learned White had died, he got visibly emotional in the interview.
The defense started with two witnesses who had separate encounters with White. Each described an interaction with White and described him being “aggressive.”
Before the afternoon break, the defense questioned a psychiatrist from a local behavioral health clinic.
The psychiatrist said White was diagnosed with schizophrenia. White’s enemy included antipsychotic medication.
The psychiatrist said he sporadically took the oral medication. She also said White never threatened the staff or acted aggressively.
Testimony ended with a Norfolk Police Department academy instructor about Hoyt’s training and stated that Hoyt passed all the requirements.
The instructor talked about how cadets are taught to assess a threat. Norfolk Police Department’s Academy uses a use-of-force continuum diagram.
The diagram illustrates what kind of force is necessary given a certain amount of compliance from a subject.
The academy instructor testified a knife could cause bodily harm or death, so deadly force is an appropriate response from an officer.
He said there is no substitute for deadly force in a situation where an officer’s life is on the line.
The academy instructor said a subject with a knife could close a gap less than 21 feet before an officer could draw their weapon and fire two shots.
On cross-examination, the commonwealth’s attorney asked about the authority of an off-duty officer. The instructor agreed there is no authority based on the diagram when you are off duty.
The jury was let out early after a request from the defense. The attorney’s stayed behind to mail-down jury instructions. Testimony is expected to wrap up Thursday.