A sheriff's deputy pleaded not guilty to attempted voluntary manslaughter Wednesday in the videotaped shooting of an unarmed airman who had just returned from duty in Iraq.
Deputy Ivory J. Webb, 45, shot Senior Airman Elio Carrion three times after a car chase on Jan. 29. He could get up to 18½ years in prison.
Carrion, an Air Force security officer just back from Iraq, was a passenger in a Corvette that police chased at high speed on the night of Jan. 29 until the Corvette crashed into a wall in Chino, about 45 miles east of Los Angeles.
A grainy videotape shot by a bystander showed Carrion on the ground next to the car with Webb standing and pointing at gun at him.
A voice appears to order Carrion to rise, but when the airman appears to begin complying, the deputy shoots him three times. Carrion was shot in the chest, shoulder and thigh and was hospitalized for several days.
Webb left the court without comment. He has until Friday to post $100,000 bail.
It is the first time the county's prosecutors have filed charges against a lawman for an on-duty shooting.
The charge includes the special allegations of infliction of great bodily injury and use of a firearm, Ramos said at a news conference. In California, such enhancements can result in additional prison time.
Last month, Carrion's wife insisted he did nothing wrong and demanded that the police officer be arrested.
"I can't sleep at night no more … knowing that we could have lost him. There's just no words for it," Mariela Carrion told CBS News correspondent Sandra Hughes.
She's still a teenager and has been married to Elio for two years. Mariela finds it hard to understand why her husband, who survived six months as a senior airman in Iraq, was .
"I went to the crime scene, and I saw the car and I saw his clothes there. And at that point, I just felt, 'Oh, my god. What happened?"
If a passerby hadn't happened to take the video, asserts Mariela, "They would have let my husband bleed to death, and they would have switched that whole story around.
"I just want that man to be placed in jail," she insists. "I want justice. And I'm not giving up."
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