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Trial begins for man in shooting, blinding of police officer

August 7, 2019

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — The trial for a man accused of shooting a Mount Vernon police officer has started in Skagit County Superior Court.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports the trial of Ernesto Lee Rivas began Tuesday and is expected to last about six weeks.

Rivas has been charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon stemming from a standoff in December 2016 that left officer Michael “Mick” McClaughry blind after he was shot in the head.

Rivas has also been charged with attempted murder and assault for a shooting that led officers to his house to investigate that day and assault for allegedly shooting at officers who were with McClaughry.

Prosecutors say McClaughry knocked on the door at Rivas’ home, saying he wanted to talk Rivas when McClaughry was shot through the door.

Rivas’ lawyer Jason Smith said Rivas is a gang member but had positive relationships with law enforcement and was trying to help the teens who came to his house after the first shooting.

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Information from: Skagit Valley Herald, http://www.skagitvalleyherald.com

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