EVERETT — On the third day of the trial in the killing of Everett police officer Dan Rocha, witnesses recalled a hectic scene on the roads as Richard Rotter crashed into cars as he fled from a Starbucks in north Everett.
The testimony came just hours after someone was accused of fleeing the shooting scene of another Everett police officer Wednesday morning.
Lawyers in the Richard Rotter case informed the court Wednesday of the Everett officer reportedly shot in his head on Evergreen Way.
Prosecutors asked Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Bruce Weiss to instruct jurors not to pay attention to any news of the early morning shooting.
“Technically, the (jury) instruction doesn’t tell them not to listen to the news at all,” Weiss said. “Legally, I don’t know if I can tell them that they can’t watch the news or read the newspaper.”
The officer was in stable condition at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, according to the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team, or SMART. Another Everett police officer shot and killed the person believed to be the shooter, SMART spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe said.
Prosecutors continued questioning witnesses in Rotter’s aggravated murder trial Wednesday.
Dawson Nguon was leaving the Everett High School parking lot with his sister the day Rocha was killed. Taking a left on Rockefeller Avenue, a blue Mini Cooper driving the wrong way on Everett Avenue came straight at him, Nguon testified.
The car crashed into his Toyota Camry, giving him whiplash, Nguon said in court. His sister left the car to take a picture of the Mini Cooper’s license plate, before it sped off.
“If I didn’t move out of the way, it would have hit me,” Dawson’s sister Isabella Nguon testified.
Another witness recalled Rotter’s escape.
Alexandra Pote was a barista driving home from work when Rotter clipped her on Rucker Avenue, hitting the front of her car and taking a tire off.
After the crash, the Mini Cooper couldn’t go any further. Police arrested Rotter.
“At that point, I had an anxiety attack,” Pote said in court. “I literally blinked, and there were dozens of cop cars around us.”
More witnesses will be called to the stand this week. The trial is expected to last a couple more weeks.
Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486; email@example.com; Twitter: @EDHJonTall.
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