EVERETT — A debate broke out in Richard Rotter’s trial Thursday on whether to show jurors graphic photos of Everett officer Dan Rocha’s head injuries when he was fatally shot last March.
Without the jury present, Snohomish County Medical Examiner J. Matthew Lacy displayed several close-up photos he took of Rocha’s injuries. Deputy prosecutor Bob Langbehn asked Lacy if he was able to describe the injuries without the use of the grisly photos. While Lacy said some photos were not necessary to describe Rocha’s injuries to the jury, he insisted on using others.
Defense attorney Daniel Snyder argued Rocha’s injuries were not in dispute and asked the court to bar the use of the photos.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Bruce Weiss expressed concern about the effect the photos would have on the jurors.
“I’m not trying to flame the passions of the jury,” Langbehn told Weiss. “What I am trying to do is to call on Dr. Lacy. Talk about what he did and what he saw. And to do it in a manner that’s not just the bare minimum.”
Langbehn said he “was not trying to argue” with Weiss.
Weiss ruled some close-up photos Lacy said were necessary to describe the injuries to the jury could be used, while others deemed not critical were ruled out.
Lacy’s testimony to the jury continued Thursday afternoon.
Maya Tizon; 425-339-3434; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @mayatizon.
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