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Castile's Former Girlfriend To Plead Not Guilty In Hammer Assault

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The woman who made news across the world after live-streaming the aftermath of her boyfriend's shooting death is expected to plead not guilty on Monday to charges in a hammer assault, according to her attorney.

Diamond Laray Reynolds of West St. Paul was charged Friday in connection with the incident, which happened last Tuesday on St. Paul's east side. Two other women were also arrested in connection with the incident.

Reynolds was the girlfriend of Philando Castile, who was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop. The officer involved in the incident, Jeronimo Yanez, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in that incident and is awaiting trial.

A criminal complaint says officers were called to the 1500 block of Jessamine Lane at about 10:30 a.m. on a report of an assault in progress. The caller told police a group of women "jumped" another woman and hit her in the head with a hammer. They also said the group of seven or eight females fled in a white truck and silver car.

The victim, 25, suffered serious injuries and was taken to Regions Hospital.

She told investigators she was driving east on Magnolia Avenue East near Johnson Parkway when she noticed she was being followed by a white SUV, according to the complaint. She pulled into her residential parking lot, got out and saw several women coming her way, including 27-year-old Reynolds and 18-year-old Chnika Blair.

The victims said Reynolds punched her in the head while Blair grabbed her hair. She says Reynolds pulled out a hammer and hit her in the head, causing her to fall to the ground. She said she blacked out briefly, then came back to consciousness to find Reynolds continuing to strike her with the tool.

She says she tried to get away when Reynolds started hitting her car with the hammer, but she was soon confronted by 25-year-old Dyamond Richardson, who allegedly sprayed her with bear mace before the group fled the parking lot.

Reynolds is charged with a count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and a count of third-degree assault inflicting substantial bodily harm. She could face up to 12 years in prison if convicted on both counts.

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