Jurors Question Witnesses at Shot Mom Trial

Frank White is accused of shooting Rachel Silva and her son last year in Oceanside

A San Diego police officer spent five hours on the stand last week but, until a juror posed the question, was never asked why he didn't roll down his window before firing his gun, the North County Times reported.

The jurors hearing Frank White's case had other questions for the 29-year-old officer as well. White is accused of shooting Rachel Silva and her child during a parking lot encounter while he was off-duty on March 15, 2008. He faces a pair of weapons charges in connection to the case.

The practice of allowing jurors to ask questions of witnesses has created a buzz in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Harry Elias, who is among the few judges in North County who will tell a jury that they should feel free to submit written questions to him. In 2007, the Judicial Council of California, the state body that runs the courts, changed the rules to not only allow the practice but to encourage judges to tell jurors that they can ask questions. Many of the jurors hearing the case appear eager to submit their queries for witnesses.

So why did White shoot through the window? He told the court that he hadn't thought of it.

The officer faces up to nine years in prison.


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