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Deputy's orders recounted

Attorney for former S.B. County lawman tries to discredit Chino man who taped incident.

June 07, 2007|Maeve Reston | Times Staff Writer

The defense attorney for a former San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy accused of shooting an unarmed airman tried to dismantle the credibility of a key witness Wednesday, saying the man gave at least three versions of the officer's orders just before he fired.

Jose Luis Valdes videotaped the shooting of Elio Carrion, 23, who had been a passenger in a Corvette being pursued by deputies at speeds of more than 100 mph before it crashed.

Ivory John Webb Jr. is charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of Carrion, who spent more than three months recovering from the bullet wounds to his leg, shoulder and chest.

Carrion had just returned from a six-month tour of duty in Iraq.

Prosecutors contend Webb, 46, told Carrion to "get up" off the ground next to the car before shooting him.

Webb's attorney, Michael Schwartz, questioned Valdes, who lived across the street from the crash, regarding his varying statements about what Webb told Carrion.

Valdes said that night that Webb said, "Show yourself, get up." In another version he recalled Webb saying, "Come on, good, come on."

In a third statement to police, Valdes said Webb ordered Carrion to, "Get up, get up mother [expletive]."

Valdes, speaking through a Spanish language interpreter, protested that he was recounting words Webb used "at different moments."

"I was confused," Valdes told Deputy Dist. Atty. R. Lewis Cope, who asked him to clarify the statements during redirect. "These are words that, at times, I don't know what they really mean."

He testified, however, that he clearly heard Webb order Carrion to "Get up" before the officer shot him.

Webb's lawyer contends Webb fired because he thought Carrion was reaching for a weapon.

Valdes also testified that he grabbed his camcorder after watching the deputy kick Carrion a number of times and shout at him for three minutes.

--

maeve.reston@latimes.com

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