An off-duty San Diego police officer was not within his rights to shoot a woman who was committing road rage in an Oceanside parking lot, a prosecutor told jurors today.
Frank White, 29, is charged with felony gross negligent discharge of a firearm and a misdemeanor count of displaying a firearm in an angry or threatening manner in the March 15, 2008, shooting that injured Rachel Silva and her 8-year-old son, Johnny.
Silva had alcohol, marijuana and methamphetamine in her system when she encountered White and his wife that night.
In his closing argument, prosecutor Jeff Dusek told jurors to remember that White is the person on trial, not Silva.
"And she had her son in the car, what an idiot!" Dusek told the jury. "But she's not on trial here. She has had her day in court. Her case is over."
Silva's blood-alcohol level was measured at .15 percent -- nearly double the legal limit -- two hours after she backed her car into White's, according to trial testimony.
She pleaded guilty last year to felony child endangerment and misdemeanor DUI and is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Dusek told jurors to look at the case against White as being like an older brother and sister who get into a fight. "And then he says, `she started it,' as an explanation," the prosecutor said, "but that doesn't mean he gets to do what he did."
Defense attorney Rick Pinckard will deliver his closing argument tomorrow morning.
White -- who is on administrative leave from the San Diego Police Department -- faces up to nine years in prison if convicted.
He testified last week that Silva looked "upset and crazy" when he encountered her in the parking lot in Oceanside.
White testified that he had no idea why Silva was tailgating him. He said the motorist didn't respond when he pointed his gun at her.
The officer said he was scared that the person following him might have been somebody he had arrested in the past.
Holding back tears, White said he never would have fired his gun if he knew a young child was in the front passenger seat.
His wife, Jacquellyn, testified that she feared for her and her husband's life during the ordeal.
Johnny Silva, now 10, testified that his mother was screaming when he saw a man pointing a gun toward them. The boy said he curled up into a ball and told his mom that the man had a gun.
In his opening statement, Dusek said Silva was close to her home when she pulled out of the Old Grove Shopping Center off state Route 76, forcing White -- who was going to a grocery store with his wife -- to take evasive action.
As White turned into the shopping center just after 9 p.m., Silva pulled up behind and followed him into the parking lot.
Silva started screeching her tires and tailgating White, "just being a jerk," the prosecutor said.
After driving into the lot, White for some reason stopped his car and Silva pulled up so close to him that he couldn't open his door, Dusek said.
Her son saw White pull out a gun and point it at him, prompting his mother to call 911, the prosecutor said.
He said White did not show his badge or identify himself as a police officer before backing up.
As Silva backed up her car, it made slight contact with White's car and he opened fire, the prosecutor said.
After the first shot, it was "boom, boom, boom, boom," for a total of five shots from White's five-shot revolver, Dusek said.
Silva was shot twice in the arm and suffered a broken arm. Her son was wounded on the inside of the left knee.
Pinckard told the jury in his opening statement that Silva initiated the entire incident.
The attorney said the Whites weren't under the influence and were just going to the grocery store when they encountered Silva.
The peace and tranquility of the couple's world collided with the rage and volatility of Silva's world, Pinckard said.
White had his wife call police before the shooting and was doing what officers do when dealing with dangerous people, Pinckard said.
When Silva pulled up next to his car, White pulled out his gun from a holster in his waistband and pointed it at the "threat," Pinckard said.