Ex-officer appears in court on manslaughter charge for 2012 shooting death of 21-year-old

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SALT LAKE CITY — The former West Valley City police officer charged with manslaughter for shooting a 21-year-old woman during a drug investigation made a brief initial appearance in court Tuesday.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1ssvtrJ) 33-year-old Shaun Cowley left the courtroom quickly and did not comment to reporters.

Prosecutors say Cowley fired at unarmed Danielle Willard as she backed her car out of a parking spot during a 2012 drug investigation. He has said his life was in danger, but prosecutors say Cowley was standing on the side of the car.

Cowley's attorney Lindsay Jarvis has called the decision to prosecute the former officer "incredibly disappointing" and says Cowley continues to maintain his innocence.

Cowley was released from the Salt Lake County Jail in June after posting $10,000 bail.

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