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Posted: 1/11/2005 6:10:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2005 6:56:25 AM EDT by cool-e]
Gun mechanics may be murder trial issue
Ex-Houston policeman charged in the on-duty shooting of teen
By ANDREW TILGHMAN
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

For the first time in more than 10 years, a former Houston police officer involved in an on-duty shooting goes on trial on a murder charge today, accused of intentionally killing a teenager during a scuffle at a Houston apartment complex 14 months ago.


In a case that sparked public outrage and raised concerns about the Police Department's use-of-force policies, Arthur J. Carbonneau, 25, is accused of intentionally shooting Eli Eloy Escobar II in the head at close range.

Carbonneau said the shooting was an accident. Questions about whether his gun, a .40-caliber Glock, malfunctioned or misfired may counter eyewitnesses and medical evidence that prosecutors say shows the shooting was neither accidental nor justified.

"A lot of people are going to talk about the mechanics of the gun and the functioning of the weapon that was used. I anticipate that that is going to be an issue at the trial," said Brett Ligon, one of Carbonneau's three defense attorneys.

A jury of eight men and four women was seated Monday afternoon. Carbonneau's attorneys asked prospective jurors to describe their "social outlook," ranging from "very conservative" to "very liberal."

Opening arguments will begin this morning in state District Judge Mary Lou Keel's courtroom. The trial is expected to last up to two weeks, attorneys said.

Carbonneau served as a police officer for about two years before the shooting. He resigned in April, one month after his indictment, saying the police "publicly elected not to stand behind him."

Prosecutors Don Smyth and Joe Owmby have subpoenaed several experts from the Harris County medical examiner's office, indicating key evidence may include details of the fatal wound.

Prosecutors also plan to call several eyewitnesses to the shooting on Nov. 21, 2003, at the Burnham Woods apartments in the 3100 block of Mangum.

The shooting occurred after police received a report that a 14-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man had harassed a 10-year-old boy at his home.

Carbonneau and Officer Ronald Olivo responded to the complaint in the 4600 block of West 34th, where the 10-year-old's father, Jesse Rodriguez, and others led the officers to an apartment at the Burnham Woods complex.

Finding an apartment where Escobar and several other teens were playing computer games, Carbonneau and Olivo told them to stand outside, witnesses said. Rodriguez pointed out one and said he had harassed his son.

According to several neighbors, Escobar had not been involved in the earlier incident. Escobar began to leave and ignored the officers' orders to stop, police and witnesses said.

The fatal scuffle erupted when the patrolmen grabbed Escobar, who fell down and then kicked them, police said.

After Escobar kicked Carbonneau in the groin, the officer drew his pistol, police said. The teen then kicked Carbonneau's arm and the gun fired, they said.

The Glock handgun is a common police-issue weapon used by law enforcement officials across the country. The model has been cited in several other accidental shootings in other cities, but a spokesman at the Austrian company's U.S. office in Georgia said there have been no known problems or safety recalls for the gun.

Escobar's parents, Eli Eloy and Lydia Escobar, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Houston, alleging Carbonneau violated their son's civil rights by using excessive force. Several members of the Escobar family were in the courtroom Monday but declined to comment.

Escobar was one of two Hispanic teens fatally shot by police within a three-week span in the fall of 2003. The incidents sparked heavy criticism and led the Police Department to review its rules and training practices regarding use of force, police said.

Police Officer Richard Kevin Butler was cleared of criminal charges in the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Jose Vargas Jr. on Oct. 31, 2003.

Vargas was shot in the chest while Butler was working an off-duty job in west Houston. Butler, a 10-year Houston police veteran, was fired last year after an internal investigation.

The last local peace officer to go on trial on a murder charge stemming from an on-duty shooting was former sheriff's Deputy Joseph Kent McGowen. He claimed self-defense after shooting Susan White in her home on Aug. 25, 1992.

McGowen was convicted in 1994 and sentenced to 15 years in prison, but the conviction was overturned. He was convicted again in 2002 and sentenced to 20 years.

andrew.tilghman@chron.com

The person killed, while unfortunate, was a real shithead. I wonder what "gun mechanics" there are in this case other than the trigger being pulled.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:16:33 AM EDT
About 10 or 12 years ago, there was an almost exact same shooting here in Knoxville, TN. The family of the deceased sued Glock in civil court. It was a decently long trial and Gaston Glock himself took the stand. In the end, the jury found for Glock. What came out during the trial is that the pistol indeed fires when you pull the trigger. The cop with the Glock with adrenalin pumping pulled the trigger not once, but twice. The second round when through the victims head.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:23:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 6:24:00 AM EDT by Matthew_Q]
So, the little shit kicks the officer in the groin (Assaulting an officer), then kicks the officer's arm, and the weapon discharged? Officer probably instinctively tightened his grasp so as not to lose his weapon, and tripped the trigger. Sounds like the little punk brought it on himself. First, you don't kick an officer. Second, you don't kick him when he draws his weapon. Sheesh.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:29:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
So, the little shit kicks the officer in the groin (Assaulting an officer), then kicks the officer's arm, and the weapon discharged? Officer probably instinctively tightened his grasp so as not to lose his weapon, and tripped the trigger. Sounds like the little punk brought it on himself. First, you don't kick an officer. Second, you don't kick him when he draws his weapon. Sheesh.



Well, I think you summed up the situation pretty well, but keep in mind that in today's society, it's not the shitheads fault that he is a shithead. The shithead is clearly a "victim" and someone else is to blame for the entire incident (in this case it must be Glock). Personally, I am just worn-ass out by this mentality.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:30:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
So, the little shit kicks the officer in the groin (Assaulting an officer), then kicks the officer's arm, and the weapon discharged? Officer probably instinctively tightened his grasp so as not to lose his weapon, and tripped the trigger. Sounds like the little punk brought it on himself. First, you don't kick an officer. Second, you don't kick him when he draws his weapon. Sheesh.



+1 ---trying to disarm an officer is a pretty good way to get yourself shot. Sounds like the kid deserved it.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:32:40 AM EDT

Prosecutors also plan to call several eyewitnesses to the shooting on Nov. 21, 2003, at the Burnham Woods apartments in the 3100 block of Mangum.



With a street like Magnum... you gotta have guns. That being said,

I've read up on the safeties about the glock. There's a safety over the firing pin that prevents it from being fired when the trigger is not in action.

From what I've read and the information I know about Glocks... the stupid brat brought it upon himself. When a cops draws a firearm that is a clear warning something is going on that requires attention.
If you attack said cop with firearm you had better make sure that said firearm is pointed away from you cause in the struggle it's EASY to tighten the grip causing a projectile to be fired.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:33:32 AM EDT
Stupid defense. How did this ever get past the Grand Jury as a murder indictment?

I would only sue Glock if I pulled the trigger and the pistol DIDN'T go bang.

But that's just me.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:33:39 AM EDT


People have been indoctrinated that firearms somehow are endowed with the ability to think and act on their own accord or to influence people to commit acts they otherwise wouldn't consider.

Of all the inanimate objects and mechanical devices I can think of, firearms seem to be the only ones that are capable of such extraordinary feats.



(swiped from ArmaLiter on Pre-Ban.com )

BTW, it sounds like the perp got exactly what was coming to him.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:37:34 AM EDT
It's truely amazing that this BS even goes to trial. Nothing is said about a 14 year old that assaults a LEO? In front of his parents? It looks to me like this is just a cheap attempt to drag Glock into the lawsuit in the hopes they will settle.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:46:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
So, the little shit kicks the officer in the groin (Assaulting an officer), then kicks the officer's arm, and the weapon discharged? Officer probably instinctively tightened his grasp so as not to lose his weapon, and tripped the trigger. Sounds like the little punk brought it on himself. First, you don't kick an officer. Second, you don't kick him when he draws his weapon. Sheesh.



What you seldom see mentioned is the fact this was no ordinary 14 year old. He was almost 6' tall, and over 200 lbs.

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:53:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cool-e:

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
So, the little shit kicks the officer in the groin (Assaulting an officer), then kicks the officer's arm, and the weapon discharged? Officer probably instinctively tightened his grasp so as not to lose his weapon, and tripped the trigger. Sounds like the little punk brought it on himself. First, you don't kick an officer. Second, you don't kick him when he draws his weapon. Sheesh.



Well, I think you summed up the situation pretty well, but keep in mind that in today's society, it's not the shitheads fault that he is a shithead. The shithead is clearly a "victim" and someone else is to blame for the entire incident (in this case it must be Glock). Personally, I am just worn-ass out by this mentality.



That's what's wrong in the world these days, it's someone else's fault always. Never, never, could it be "the dirt bags fault" he's just a kid, and was scared of the big bad officer, so he kicked him in fear." F him and his family.



WTF.Maybe instead of a GLOCK the officer should have used his Maglight see what kind of result, would that get Opps did i say that out loud, I thought that was just a thought bubble.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:56:39 AM EDT
I hate lawyers, did I mention that? Well, Shaggy seems cool, but otherwise...

I have never, ever, ever heard of a Glock firing without the trigger being pulled. Given the internal safeties, it's a damned difficult proposition.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:59:08 AM EDT
I agree the brat was at fault, but the LEO got himself into this mess by having his finger on the trigger before he was ready to fire. A lesson for all of us to remember.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:18:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 7:20:46 AM EDT by DnPRK]
Can someone explain why the cop's gun was out of the holster? Had the situation escalated to the point where he was in fear of his life? or was he using the gun to imtimidate the kid (poor technique)? A kid LAYING ON THE GROUND, kicking at a officer doesn't sound like a deadly threat.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:35:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 6of1:
I agree the brat was at fault, but the LEO got himself into this mess by having his finger on the trigger before he was ready to fire. A lesson for all of us to remember.



+1

if you don't want any gun especially a Glock to fire keep your damn finger off the trigger
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:45:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cool-e:

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
So, the little shit kicks the officer in the groin (Assaulting an officer), then kicks the officer's arm, and the weapon discharged? Officer probably instinctively tightened his grasp so as not to lose his weapon, and tripped the trigger. Sounds like the little punk brought it on himself. First, you don't kick an officer. Second, you don't kick him when he draws his weapon. Sheesh.



Well, I think you summed up the situation pretty well, but keep in mind that in today's society, it's not the shitheads fault that he is a shithead. The shithead is clearly a "victim" and someone else is to blame for the entire incident (in this case it must be Glock). Personally, I am just worn-ass out by this mentality.



Agreed.........This mentality is what is eroding the fabric of America right now..........Uh oh........I drank hot coffee and burned my lip.......I need to sue McDonalds for serving me coffee that was hot....
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:51:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DnPRK:
Can someone explain why the cop's gun was out of the holster? Had the situation escalated to the point where he was in fear of his life? or was he using the gun to imtimidate the kid (poor technique)? A kid LAYING ON THE GROUND, kicking at a officer doesn't sound like a deadly threat.



And again, from the safety of the armchair....

Trouble reading?


"What you seldom see mentioned is the fact this was no ordinary 14 year old. He was almost 6' tall, and over 200 lbs. "

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:00:40 AM EDT
No surprise, but just as ridiculous as any other lawsuit of this kind. Guns go off when you pull the trigger. Occaisionally something else will cause it, but that is not likely to be the case here. The idea that the defense is pushing seems to be that the gun somehow went off by itself. A pistol that has more than likely been carried every day for 2 years goes off on it's own at the exact moment that his arm is kicked by the suspect he is aiming at. That would be some fuckin' coincidence.

There is a reason the department did not stand by this officer, and it wasn't because his pistol malfunctioned. I'm not saying that he is guilty of a crime, certainly not murder, but he is obviously at fault.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:04:29 AM EDT
It doesn't matter how big the kid was he was laying on the ground .... the officer just has to move backwards out of reach of the kid and then either pull his taser if issued, or pepper spray to subdue.

He had backup with him and the kid did not have any type of weapon to use against the officer.

I live around the corner from where that happened and work with some of the DA's involved in that case.

I can tell you he'll be found guilty of some form of negligence by escalating straight up the force continuum to deadly instead of any type of non- or less lethal means.

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:23:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 9:26:48 AM EDT by jadams951]

Originally Posted By hk940:

Originally Posted By 6of1:
I agree the brat was at fault, but the LEO got himself into this mess by having his finger on the trigger before he was ready to fire. A lesson for all of us to remember.



+1

if you don't want any gun especially a Glock to fire keep your damn finger off the trigger



Quit armchair quarterbacking. Simply put you weren't there and don't know what really happened.

Too many variables for someone not there to know.

I predict this officer will be found not guilty.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 11:12:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ski2060:
It doesn't matter how big the kid was he was laying on the ground .... the officer just has to move backwards out of reach of the kid and then either pull his taser if issued, or pepper spray to subdue.

He had backup with him and the kid did not have any type of weapon to use against the officer.

I live around the corner from where that happened and work with some of the DA's involved in that case.

I can tell you he'll be found guilty of some form of negligence by escalating straight up the force continuum to deadly instead of any type of non- or less lethal means.




Nice monday morning quarterbacking. The "Kid" was attacking a police officer, that says enough about his itensions. No, he probably should not have been shot but it's also his fault and his parents.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 11:23:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cool-e:

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
So, the little shit kicks the officer in the groin (Assaulting an officer), then kicks the officer's arm, and the weapon discharged? Officer probably instinctively tightened his grasp so as not to lose his weapon, and tripped the trigger. Sounds like the little punk brought it on himself. First, you don't kick an officer. Second, you don't kick him when he draws his weapon. Sheesh.



Well, I think you summed up the situation pretty well, but keep in mind that in today's society, it's not the shitheads fault that he is a shithead. The shithead is clearly a "victim" and someone else is to blame for the entire incident (in this case it must be Glock). Personally, I am just worn-ass out by this mentality.



Guys, its' not the parents suing Glock...Yet.

The officer's butt is potnetially in the wringer, and his defense is floating this thory as a possible reason the kid got shot.

Rest assured, though, the parents are watching to see how trhis plays out.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 11:48:48 AM EDT
I can sort pf see why the cop had the gun unholstered. However, not being there I might say it was probably too soon for that kind of show of force.

Since the officer did had it in his hand a kick to the arm may have caused a reflex to cause him to pull the trigger. As mentioned above, pulling the trigger does make the gun fire.

-Foxxz
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 11:54:02 AM EDT
Same thing happened in Alabama with a trooper. Grand jury ruled the Glock was at fault. The trooper was moved to ABI which is actually a promotion. He killed a guy while pointing his glock at him on a traffic stop. Shot him in the head.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 12:04:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 12:05:32 PM EDT by cool-e]
I think some are missing one of the main points of this story. It seems likely that the Officer is going to claim that his service Glock discharged through some mechanical failure or fault and not because he had his finger on the trigger.

Two bad things here: 1) shithead 14 year old kid fighting with a policeman and 2) policeman claiming the gun went off due to some mechanical fault. Maybe it did, but it seems unlikely.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 12:37:23 PM EDT

The teen then kicked Carbonneau's arm and the gun fired, they said.


I love a happy ending
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 12:39:29 PM EDT
On one hand, it seems that the officer drew his weapon prematurely. I'll admit that I'd be pretty pissed off is someone kicked me in the groin, but that's what batons, mace, and tazers are for.

However, kicking a person's arm that is pointing a gun at you is a pretty easy way to get shot. You can try this now: Hold your hand the way you would if you were holding a handgun, then punch the inside of your forearm; your fingers will contract. Now imagine your arm being KICKED by some 200 lb. guy; you get the picture. Proper trigger discipline would probably prevent this from happening, but I imagine it could happen even if your finger was outside the guard (but far less likely). All in all, it looks like he used excessive force and (maybe) improper weapon-handling, but this hardly equates to murder.

As far as the Glock issue goes, I guess this shows that Glocks fire when you pull the trigger. Who would have thought it?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 12:56:39 PM EDT
Kid was a dumbass, and the officer had his finger on the trigger. No way the gun fired on its own. Only the trigger will pull the striker back and fire the weapon.

I don't think he should have been charged with murder, but from what information we have here, the officer drew his weapon prematurely and placed his finger on the trigger. He should have moved backwards as he drew. If he had backed off the kid couldn't have kicked his weapon.

I think the officer needs some time in the can on some kind of negligence charge and the department needs to retrain its officers to get some distance before they aim a weapon, and to not draw when you don't have to.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 12:57:12 PM EDT
1) Darwin award?

2) A .40 Glock that didn't "Kaboom"?

3) Lousy trigger disipline or a faulty gun?

4) Escalation of force?

5) F*ing lawyers.

6) I'm agreeing with Vadinger! Is hell freezing over (we are getting unusual weather here in SoCal)?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 2:52:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 2:58:58 PM EDT
It's not monday morning Q'bing, it's talking to the one of the DA's involved in the case.

The "scumbag POS kid that probably wanted to kill the cop and rape his wife while posting pooper pics" was apparently trying to get to his parents.

I agree that it was dumb of him to kick a cop and end up shot for it.

All I'm saying is that the cop drew his weapon way too fast for the force continuum.

Would it matter if the kid was mentally retarded and couldn't understand the commands being given by the cop? If he only knew he was being attacked by someone after walking away from them? The officer involved did put the kid on the ground first to detain him.

Could he have instead gone to the kid's parents that lived like 4 apartments away?



Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:

Originally Posted By ski2060:
It doesn't matter how big the kid was he was laying on the ground .... the officer just has to move backwards out of reach of the kid and then either pull his taser if issued, or pepper spray to subdue.

He had backup with him and the kid did not have any type of weapon to use against the officer.

I live around the corner from where that happened and work with some of the DA's involved in that case.

I can tell you he'll be found guilty of some form of negligence by escalating straight up the force continuum to deadly instead of any type of non- or less lethal means.




Nice monday morning quarterbacking. The "Kid" was attacking a police officer, that says enough about his itensions. No, he probably should not have been shot but it's also his fault and his parents.

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 3:02:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By u-baddog:

The teen then kicked Carbonneau's arm and the gun fired, they said.


I love a happy ending





+1

Ben
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 3:04:30 PM EDT
sure. blame the gun
I bet this cop is the first to raise his hand when someone says "raise your hand if you think only the police and gov't should have guns"
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 3:14:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 6of1:
I agree the brat was at fault, but the LEO got himself into this mess by having his finger on the trigger before he was ready to fire. A lesson for all of us to remember.



+1

I have to go with you on this one. The kid got what he was asking for. Kicking a cop in the arm while he is on the ground with a gun in his hand? Sounds like the cop flinched to me too. I have to side with the cops on this one. Cop didn't display finger awareness, however, the gun probably wouldn't have gone off if the kid hadn't kicked him in the arm. I hope the cop gets justice for this (from what I have read) and I hope Glock win's their fight. And I hope this cop sues the parents for the loss of his job and for the pain of this lawsuit.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:01:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 4:01:33 PM EDT by GanXta]
Sounds like a human error not a mechanical one...

However, what the hell else was he supposed to do? Drop his gun and get out his mace? Not knowing how to act cost this kid his life...
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:12:29 PM EDT
Yes it is armchair quarterbacking. Even the asst DA wasn't there and only has testimony from more than likely biased witnesses at the scene.

I don't believe for a second the firearm was faulty but if my ass was on the line I'd bring up every possible thing to create reasonable doubt.

As for pulling the gun out too quick. That's hard to speculate on. I'm trying to picture myself dealing with a suspect in some type of offense and he does not do what I tell him and tries to walk away I'd definetely take him down too. Then I imagine myself getting kicked in the nuts and having numerous other people around and me not knowing if they are all going to jump my ass I can see where I might pull my weapon.


Originally Posted By ski2060:
It's not monday morning Q'bing, it's talking to the one of the DA's involved in the case.

The "scumbag POS kid that probably wanted to kill the cop and rape his wife while posting pooper pics" was apparently trying to get to his parents.

I agree that it was dumb of him to kick a cop and end up shot for it.

All I'm saying is that the cop drew his weapon way too fast for the force continuum.

Would it matter if the kid was mentally retarded and couldn't understand the commands being given by the cop? If he only knew he was being attacked by someone after walking away from them? The officer involved did put the kid on the ground first to detain him.

Could he have instead gone to the kid's parents that lived like 4 apartments away?



Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:

Originally Posted By ski2060:
It doesn't matter how big the kid was he was laying on the ground .... the officer just has to move backwards out of reach of the kid and then either pull his taser if issued, or pepper spray to subdue.

He had backup with him and the kid did not have any type of weapon to use against the officer.

I live around the corner from where that happened and work with some of the DA's involved in that case.

I can tell you he'll be found guilty of some form of negligence by escalating straight up the force continuum to deadly instead of any type of non- or less lethal means.




Nice monday morning quarterbacking. The "Kid" was attacking a police officer, that says enough about his itensions. No, he probably should not have been shot but it's also his fault and his parents.


Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:35:17 PM EDT
jadams, he was accompanied by another officer (who theoretically was watching his six). I don't see why he would draw his weapon. That is one of the surest ways to lose control of a suspect. According to a 30 year Border Patrolman I talked to extensively last week, many times in his career he saw officers draw on a suspect only to have the suspect say "go ahead, shoot me" and walk away. Once the gun comes out, you either shoot them or lose control. An ASP would have been much more appropriate.

Sure this is armchair quarterbacking, but note that if he is accusing the Glock of firing itself, he is really grasping for an excuse here. I don't think it sounds like murder though--the kick makes it sound like extremely bad judgement and extremely bad weaponshandling on his part, as well as a fucktard of a kid.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 10:10:40 PM EDT
If the trigger had to be pulled for the Glock to discharge, then it was working properly and was a product that did not malfunction. Pull the Glock trigger and it fires, just like any revolver LE's have carried for many decades.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 4:30:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AK_Mike:
If the trigger had to be pulled for the Glock to discharge, then it was working properly and was a product that did not malfunction. Pull the Glock trigger and it fires, just like any revolver LE's have carried for many decades.



No silly, you have to think like a lawyer. See, the fact that the design allows somebody to negligently pull the trigger makes the design faulty. All products must protect stupid people from themselves.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:57:06 AM EDT
Teen testifies boy screamed for help before he was shot
Ex-officer's murder trial begins with eyewitness
By ANDREW TILGHMAN
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
Pinned to the ground with a police officer's knee across his chest, an unarmed 14-year-old boy cried out for help just before the officer shot him in the head at close range, a witness said Tuesday.

"Eli started screaming out for his mom," said 15-year-old Jose Salmeron, who saw the killing of Eli Eloy Escobar II outside a northwest Houston apartment complex Nov. 21, 2003.

"He pulled out his gun and pointed it at his forehead. And he shot him," Salmeron said on the first day of former Officer Arthur J. Carbonneau's murder trial.

Salmeron was the first of several eyewitnesses expected to testify against Carbonneau, 25, who shot Escobar while on duty and responding to a harassment complaint at the Burnham Woods apartments in the 3100 block of Mangum.

The testimony contradicted the account given by Carbonneau's lawyers, who said Escobar resisted arrest and became violent, kicking Carbonneau in the groin just before the shooting.

Carbonneau feared for his life while trying to subdue Escobar, particularly when the teen appeared to be reaching for a weapon, defense attorney Aaron Suder said.

"Arthur Carbonneau thought: 'This is it. He's going for his gun,' " Suder told jurors during his opening statement Tuesday.

Carbonneau, who was on the force for two years, did not mean to shoot the boy, and his actions were "completely governed by reflex and instinct," Suder said.

"Oftentimes, in that reflex, the person will inadvertently place contractile pressure on that trigger — without intending to do it, without knowing that they're doing it and without knowing exactly what happened after the fact," Suder said.

Carbonneau, a patrol officer who resigned in April, is the first law officer in Harris County to be tried on a murder charge in an on-duty shooting in more than a decade. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

Prosecutors Don Smyth and Joe Owmby asked Salmeron to demonstrate how the shooting occurred.

Jurors stood up to watch as Owmby lay on the courtroom floor and Salmeron posed as the police officer and re-enacted his recollection of the shooting. He leaned over Owmby and pointed his index finger at the prosecutor's forehead.

At the time of the shooting, another officer, Ronald Olivo, was holding the boy's legs while Carbonneau, 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 220 pounds, leaned his knee on the boy's chest, Salmeron said.

Seconds before the shooting, Escobar agreed to roll over on his back to allow police to handcuff him, Salmeron said.

"He said, 'I'm going to turn around.' "

After the shooting, Salmeron said, Carbonneau ran a hand through his hair, stood up and walked away without a word.

"He just walked away normal?" Smyth asked.

"Yes, sir," the teen said.

Salmeron, a ninth-grader at Scarborough High School, will face cross-examination this morning when the trial resumes in the court of state District Judge Mary Lou Keel.

The shooting occurred after Carbonneau volunteered to help Olivo respond to a complaint in the 4600 block of West 34th. A caller had complained that a 14-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man had harassed a 10-year-old boy at his home.

The 10-year-old's father, Jesse Rodriguez, and others led the officers to a nearby apartment at the Burnham Woods complex, where they found Escobar and several other teens playing computer games.

Police told the teens to stand outside, witnesses said. Rodriguez pointed out one teen and said he had harassed his son.

Escobar had not been involved in the earlier incident and began to leave, ignoring officers' orders to stop, witnesses said.

Officer David Carter said a handful of witnesses were present when he arrived moments after the shooting.

"It was a very chaotic scene," he testified. "There were people wailing. There were people blurting out, 'I saw everything. I saw everything.' "

At the time of the shooting, Carbonneau had a metal baton and a spray can of Mace in his equipment belt, said Officer Andrew Taravella, a crime-scene investigator from the homicide division who also testified Tuesday.

Carbonneau plans to testify after prosecutors finish putting on their witnesses, defense attorneys said.

"This wasn't some kind of execution, as the state would have you believe," Suder told jurors. "It was an accident."

andrew.tilghman@chron.com

Link Posted: 1/12/2005 7:52:27 AM EDT

Prosecutors Don Smyth and Joe Owmby asked Salmeron to demonstrate how the shooting occurred.

Jurors stood up to watch as Owmby lay on the courtroom floor and Salmeron posed as the police officer and re-enacted his recollection of the shooting. He leaned over Owmby and pointed his index finger at the prosecutor's forehead.

At the time of the shooting, another officer, Ronald Olivo, was holding the boy's legs while Carbonneau, 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 220 pounds, leaned his knee on the boy's chest, Salmeron said.

Seconds before the shooting, Escobar agreed to roll over on his back to allow police to handcuff him, Salmeron said.

"He said, 'I'm going to turn around.' "

After the shooting, Salmeron said, Carbonneau ran a hand through his hair, stood up and walked away without a word.

"He just walked away normal?" Smyth asked.



Let me get this straight. Someone with a J.D., whose business is language and semantics, can't use a proper adverb in the courtroom?
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