Trial continues for former deputy accused of reckless homicide

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Testimony continued Wednesday in the trial of a former Shelby County sheriff's deputy accused of shooting at a motorist.

Wednesday, prosecutors told jurors the story former Deputy Alvin Dortch told investigators on the night of the crash was not reflected in his car's dash cam video.

The video shows Alvin Dortch standing next to Ignacio Arcos' vehicle.  Dortch then fires two shots at the truck as it drives off from the traffic stop.  Dortch walks back to his patrol car, and then follows Arcos for a short distance.  Moments later, you see Arcos' truck crash and overturn on an exit ramp.

Sergeant Tim McMackin, a traffic investigator with the Shelby County Sheriff's office, testified about what former deputy Alvin Dortch initially told investigators after the crash.

According to McMackin, Dortch said he was on another traffic stop when he saw Ignacio Arcos speed past in a pickup, weaving across lanes.  Dortch claimed he followed the truck, then lost sight of it, just before he found the truck upside down on an exit ramp.

McMackmin testified that Dortch never told him he stopped Arcos.  But the dashcam video on officer Dortch's patrol car tells a different story.  It shows Dortch pulling over Arcos' pickup and then firing two shots into the truck as it takes off.

A medical examiner's report lists Arcos' death as a homicide, after confirming a gunshot hit the rear wheel and contributed to the crash.

"The defendant shooting out the tire of Mr. Arcos' truck, would that be a contributing factor in his crash and death?" the prosecutor asked McMackin.

"It's a contributing factor to the crash, most definitely," McMackin replied.

Later in court, prosecutors said Dortch lied about shooting at Arcos' car.  Sgt. Reginald Reed testified that Dortch never told him he used his weapon that evening.

Meanwhile, defense attorneys argued Dortch didn't cause the accident, and that Arcos' blood alcohol level was above legal limit that night.  Shelby County Medical Examiner Dr. Karen Chancellor testified Arcos' blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.

"We found that alcohol was present in the post mortem blood," Chancellor said. "It was present in the concentration of 249 milligrams per deciliter."

Testimony is scheduled to continue Thursday.

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