AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Monday, attorneys representing Austin Police Officer Christopher Taylor finished presenting their case after the state rested last week. Taylor is on trial for murder in the death of Michael Ramos.

Jurors were released Monday but are expected to return Tuesday for closing arguments, should the state choose not to bring forward any rebuttal witnesses. They could begin deliberations as soon as Tuesday.

Taylor shot and killed Ramos, 42, during an incident with police back in April 2020 at a south Austin apartment complex’s parking lot. Taylor is on administrative leave with APD.

Defense: Expert witnesses

Monday afternoon, the defense called a professor of psychology from the University of Texas at Austin as its final witness. Dr. David Gilden specializes in what was described in court as “visual perception,” specifically what Taylor may have perceived during the shooting.

Before the jury was brought into the courtroom, the state asked Gilden to say exactly what his testimony would help the jury understand in this case.

“[The] jury has the impression that the car {Ramos was driving] is in full view to anybody looking through an optic, and that there should be absolutely no question in the mind of Mr. Taylor that the car is turning,” Gilden said. After a long pause he continued: “And that is misleading.”

To this point in the trial, the jury has been shown several reconstructions of what Taylor may have seen when he fired shots. Gilden testified that those did not capture the narrowness of what Taylor could perceive and went so far as call the state’s version “cartoonish.”

During cross-examination, the state questioned Gilden’s qualifications and highlighted that he had only testified two times previously.

“What qualifies you to determine what’s relevant to a jury in a criminal case?” Prosecutor Gary Cobb asked. Gilden responded that “what information is available to a person who is aiming” is “the most important thing to be addressed.”

The defense also called Henry “Hank” Mowry Monday morning. He is the director of engineering at Knott Laboratory, LLC.

According to Knott’s website, Mowry specializes in forensic engineering investigations and incident scene recreations. He has testified previously, he said before the jury was present.

Mowry presented a reconstruction of the scene from Taylor’s perspective. He also looked at possible vehicle paths for Ramos’ vehicle.

State prosecutors had their own expert witness — the CEO of a forensic visualization company — reconstruct the scene and take the stand roughly two weeks ago. The defense asked Mowry to compare and contrast those visualizations.

The state’s interactive reconstruction had an overhead view, and also showed what officers and even Ramos may have seen during the incident. It has been used on multiple occasions by the state to show the possible path of Ramos’ vehicle during the shooting.

Previous coverage of this trial:

Additional officers introduced as witnesses

After calling several APD officers the jury had already heard from, the defense Friday introduced officers who were on scene with Taylor but not called by state prosecutors.

Katrina Ratcliff, who worked at the Austin Police Department in 2020, was the first of those police witnesses. Ratcliff no longer works at the department.

Ratcliff testified that she believed Ramos’ vehicle was moving toward her and another officer, standing next to the patrol car closest to Ramos’ stolen Prius, in the moments before Taylor shot.

“Where did you think the car was going?” the defense asked. “At me and [Officer] Darrell [Cantu-Harkless],” she responded.

The defense also called APD Officer Valerie Tavarez, another officer on the scene who was not called by the state. She testified that she was “not in a position to take shots at the vehicle.”

When one of Taylor’s attorneys, Ken Ervin, later asked if she would have shot Ramos “at about the same time,” should she have had been in position to, she said: “I believe so, because I believed the vehicle was coming directly towards us.”

State prosecutors asked both officers to say, using a photo of the scene, that if Ramos would have pulled directly out of his parking spot, he still would not have hit a police vehicle.