Patrolman, ex-partner indicted in shooting death
BY JIM NOLAN AND MICHAEL MARTZ
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITERS
Friday, July 15, 2005
The officers said they acted in self-defense after one saw a handgun protruding from beneath the driver's seat, but Olavarria's mother said witnesses told her that they saw her son raise both hands in the air before he was shot.
Olavarria was driving a 1995 Buick when he was stopped for allegedly running a stop sign. During a struggle to remove Olavarria from the car, police said, Couture was dragged and pulled into the vehicle as it started to move.
Couture resigned from the force June 29 under threat of termination for what Police Chief Rodney Monroe said were discrepancies in his previous police employment records. Aeschlimann has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.
"As with all criminal matters, the Richmond Police Department is fully cooperating in the investigation," Monroe said last night upon learning of the indictments and arrests.
The indictments represented a new strategy by Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney David M. Hicks for prosecuting the two men, based on an almost yearlong investigation by Virginia State Police that led to the special grand jury report. The special grand jury first recommended that the case be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Justice for further investigation and possible prosecution on federal civil-rights charges.
"The original plan always left open the option of keeping this grand jury up to date and going back to them to prosecute this matter if we felt this was warranted," Hicks said late yesterday.
"We have had conversations with our federal partners, and those conversations are continuing," he said. "We thought it was prudent to start our own proceedings while those other conversations are ongoing."
Contact Jim Nolan at (804) 649-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org
||Truth in Justice