ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla.-- The trial for a man accused of shooting and killing a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Sergeant starts Tuesday with jury selection.
The judge refused to delay the trial at the request of Eriese Tisdale’s defense attorneys.
Tisdale is charged with first degree murder for allegedly shooting and killing Sgt. Gary Morales in February of 2013.
Jurors who are selected will be tasked with deciding whether or not Tisdale is guilty of first-degree murder, and potentially, if he should face the death penalty.
Investigators say Morales tried to pull Tisdale over in a traffic stop the morning of February 28, 2013.
Then, they say Tisdale fled the scene until Morales pulled him over a second time.
Before Morales could get out of his car, investigators say Tisdale approached Morales’ vehicle and shot him numerous times.
Deputies chased Tisdale. Surveillance video shows a deputy completed a pit maneuver to send Tisdale off the road to be arrested.
Hours later, he was being questioned by investigators.
"You want to go home safe to your family? I did, too," Tisdale said to a detective.
Tisdale claimed self-defense. “I was in a state of fear,” Tisdale explained. He said Morales aggressively approached his car with his hand on his gun.
Investigators say that statement was a lie, determining Tisdale approached Morales.
Still, Tisdale said he respects law enforcement and authority.
"I didn't wake up to say I’m going to shoot an officer, I just want to say that," Tisdale said.