Opening statements over, witness testimony to begin in Olsen trial - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Opening statements over, witness testimony to begin in Olsen trial

Former officer Jay Olson Former officer Jay Olson
Shonto Pete Shonto Pete
Shonto Pete recovering from a gunshot wound to the head Shonto Pete recovering from a gunshot wound to the head

SPOKANE, Wash. - Opening statements in the trial of a former Spokane police officer accused of shooting an unarmed man have ended. Shonto Pete, the man prosecutors say was shot by former officer Jay Olsen, will be the first witness to take the stand Monday.

Prosecutors say Olsen shot Shonto Pete in the head while the man was running away.

Olsen had said that Pete tried to steal his truck that was warming up along the side of a downtown Spokane street.

Pete was charged with the crime and then acquitted in October of 2007. Olsen faces one assault charge and two counts of Reckless Endangerment.

Previous Coverage

Pete says he was shot by Olsen in an incident that occurred on February 26, 2007. Olsen and a female acquaintance were leaving Dempsey's Brass Rail in downtown Spokane about 2:30 a.m. that morning and were seated in her car while Olsen's pickup was left running to warm up.

Pete says he approached Olsen's car to ask for a ride and says he was chased off. Pete says Olsen chased him down over an embankment that leads to Peaceful Valley where Olsen fired five shots, one of which hit him in the head.

The First-Degree Assault charge is based on the shooting and wounding of Pete. The Reckless Endangerment counts are based on Olsen firing in the direction of occupied homes and striking one.

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