SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – The trial of a former sheriff's deputy charged in the videotaped shooting of an Iraq war veteran was delayed Monday because the defense attorney's wife was in labor.
Opening statements were rescheduled for May 29.
"That did put a kink in our plans," San Bernardino County Judge Michael A. Smith said. "I apologize for the delay."
Former San Bernardino County sheriff's Deputy Ivory Webb Jr., 46, has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of attempted voluntary manslaughter and assault with a firearm. If convicted, he could face more than 18 years in prison.
A grainy videotape taken by a bystander on Jan. 29, 2006, shows Webb shooting Air Force Senior Airman Elio Carrion, who appears to be obeying an order to get up off the ground.
The video was aired repeatedly on national TV.
A jury was sworn in last Wednesday after undergoing two rounds of questioning and filling out a 26-page questionnaire.
Carrion, who has recovered from his wounds, is expected to testify at the trial. He has also filed a civil claim against San Bernardino County.
Carrion, now 23, was a passenger in a car that crashed in Chino, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles, while being chased by Webb. Carrion testified at a preliminary hearing that he had been drinking at a barbecue to celebrate his recent return from Iraq.
On the 40-second video clip, he can be heard swearing at Webb before the deputy tells him to "get up! get up!" Carrion was then shot three times in the chest, left leg and left shoulder.
Webb's lawyer, Michael Schwartz, has previously suggested that his client might actually have shouted "don't get up!" He has also argued that Webb may have believed Carrion was reaching for a weapon in his jacket pocket as he stood up. Carrion was found to be unarmed.