Autopsy for Redding Pursuit Suspect Scheduled for Tomorrow, Three Redding PD Officers Remain on Paid Leave

Oct 9, 2013 6:29 PM

By Nick Dobis, News Web/Social Media Producer

The autopsy for 33-year-old Steven Motley is tentatively scheduled for tomorrow in Sacramento. Motley was the suspect in a stolen vehicle pursuit in Redding last Saturday afternoon and reportedly “stopped breathing” while resisting arrest.

According to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department, the lead agency investigating the incident, a Redding Police Officer attempted to make a traffic stop around 2:30 p.m. on October 5 for a truck previously reported stolen. The driver of the stolen truck, later identified by the Sheriff’s Department as Motley, failed to yield and a pursuit ensued. The car chase eventually ended with Motley driving through a brick wall and into the front yard of a residence on the northwest corner of Rancho Road in Redding.

According to the Sheriff’s press release, Motley fled from the crash on foot and the pursuing officer also exited his patrol car to give chase. Motley eventually circled around and attempted to enter the unmanned patrol car allegedly with the intent to steal it before a responding patrol car arrived at the scene. When the second officer arrived Motley again fled on foot. After another foot pursuit through several backyards in the neighborhood, the second officer caught Motley who reportedly continued to resist arrest. Additional officers also began to arrive to assist taking Motley into custody.

It was during the struggle to restrain Motley that “the suspect suddenly quit resisting and it was immediately realized the suspect was not breathing,” according to the Sheriff’s Department.

When this realization was made, officers reportedly attempted to administer CPR to Motley before an ambulance arrived to transport him to Mercy Medical Center. His exact injuries have not been disclosed. Motley was eventually airlifted to Mercy San Juan Hospital in Sacramento for further treatment before he died yesterday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office has tentatively scheduled his autopsy for tomorrow.

Some Sheriff officials familiar with the case speculate Motley may have been on narcotics at the time of the arrest, but whether those speculations are founded will become clearer with Motley’s autopsy results. Three Redding Police Officers involved in the incident are on paid leave until the Shasta County Sheriffs and Shasta County District Attorney’s Office concludes their investigation. Their names have still been withheld at this time.

Before Motley’s death, The Sheriff’s Department indicated a criminal complaint would be filed with the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office against Motley for a number of charges, including possession of a stolen vehicle, felony evasion, hit and run, and felony charges of possession of a firearm and resisting arrest. The department also stated in a press release Motley had “an extensive criminal history,” but the only court records Action News Now has been able to confirm was a Tehama County case regarding a suspended license Motley plead guilty to in 2010 and a family court case in Shasta County in 2011.

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crime Unit has indicated they have nothing further to add regarding the investigation other than what they have stated in press releases at this time. Detective Will Gardner, the deputy in charge of the investigation, has yet to reply to our inquiries.


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