SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A wanted man who drove off and dragged a deputy U.S. marshal through a Clairemont Mesa intersection after the officer stopped the car and tried to take the keys from the ignition is scheduled to be sentenced Friday at the downtown courthouse.
Matthew Motsenbocker, 32, was convicted last month of 13 counts, including assault with a deadly weapon. He faces a maximum 29 years in state prison.
A jury found Motsenbocker guilty of charges related to three pending cases as well as the July 6, 2012, assault on Deputy U.S. Marshal Don Allie.
In his opening statement at trial, prosecutor Robert Eacret asked jurors to hold Motsenbocker accountable for his "getaway at all costs" mentality.
Eacret said U.S. marshals were looking for Motsenbocker on July 6, 2012, after he failed to appear in court for stealing shirts from a department store and trying to pass a phony check.
Marshals pulled over a white Volvo driven by the defendant's girlfriend as she left Interstate 805 at Balboa Avenue.
Eacret said the woman exited the vehicle with the car still running, but when Allie reached in to take the keys out of the ignition, Motsenbocker slid over from the passenger seat and hit the accelerator.
With his body half in the vehicle as he was being dragged, Allie "in fear for his life" fired his weapon, hitting the defendant in the chest, Eacret said.
Allie was thrown from the Volvo and suffered traumatic head injuries and road rash to the face, Eacret said.
Motsenbocker's attorney, Raymundo Pacello Jr., told the jury that Allie never identified himself as a peace officer and stuck a gun under the defendant's armpit.
"Matthew Motsenbocker was in fear for his life," Pacello told the jury. "He (Allie) said, `I'm going to kill you, (expletive). Matt thought he was going to die."'