Attorneys Argue I-5 Shootout Case

Jan 29, 2013 7:50 PM

Opening statements were presented Tuesday in the trial for the man accused of leading police on a high speed chase in Shasta County, then opening fire at them.

Albert Smith is charged with ten felonies relating to the incident that happened in October of 2011.

The prosecution and defense agree on much of what happened on October 27th 2011, but this case will likely come down to who fired first, the suspect or law enforcement.

Opening arguments started with Deputy District Attorney Curtis Woods explaining, a black GMC Safari van was spotted traveling the wrong way on north bound I-5, north of Yreka.

CHP located the vehicle and a pursuit ensued, leading officers through miles of Northern California and across county lines.

Woods explained, Albert Anthony Amith tried to use his vehicle to slam into officers waiting to join the chase.

New details emerged Tuesday, like how the Smith allegedly drove though a residential area and barreled through fences before getting back on the highway.

We now know officers believed Smith was armed and dangerous when the chase finally came to a stop just south of Dunsmuir in Castella.

But what happened in the next few minutes will likely be the disputed facts of the case.

The prosecution says after several minutes of not complying with officer demands, smith produced an "AK-47 type gun” and started firing, striking officer vehicles and a police K-9.

The defense says officers fired first, possibly inadvertently.

But once the first shot was heard, a hail of bullets followed, incapacitating Smith.

He was left with two wounds to his shoulder and one on his cheek, which was clearly visible in court Tuesday.

The jury was held in the hallway several times Tuesday as attorneys and the judge discussed some possible new evidence in the case.

Earlier this month, someone posted on, indicating that they saw the whole incident. They said it was cops who fired first and not Smith.


TheAx writes:

I was around there. The guy wouldn't come out of his vehicle, and he was armed, but, he didn't shoot at the cops! After the cops went crazy because their fellow cop fired prematurely, they closed the freeway for hours while they set up the crime scene. Soon they had found spent cartridges up and down the freeway this guy supposedly fired.., wink, wink.

The identity of this person is not yet known and its unclear if they have any relation to the case.


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