Trial begins for former sheriff's deputy accused of reckless homicide

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Trial started Tuesday for a former Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy indicted for reckless homicide.

Shortly after opening arguments in the trial of former Sheriff's deputy Alvin Dortch got underway, the jury was shown this dash cam video which captured what happened during a traffic stop on June 29, 2008.

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 then follows Arcos for a short distance.

Moments later, you see Arcos' truck crash and overturn on this exit ramp.

Prosecutors say Dortch lied about the incident including shooting at Arcos' car, which proves his guilt.  After jurors watched video of the incident, prosecutors called their first witness, Chief Joseph Ruff of the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, to the stand.

"Is a traffic stop where the driver pulls away, would that constitute a harm that would authorize the use of deadly force?" the prosecutor asked.

"There has to be something more than that," Ruff replied.

Prosecutors claim Dortch lied about the incident, including shooting at Arcos' vehicle, which proves his guilt.

Meanwhile, defense attorneys say Dortch is not to blame for the accident, and that Arcos' blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit at the time of the incident.  The defense claims Dortch was just doing his job when Arcos sped off.

Neither Dortch nor Arcos' family had any comment about today's events in the courtroom.

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