A trial date has been set for an off-duty San Diego police officer who shot an Oceanside woman and her 8-year-old young son.
Frank White avoided news cameras in court Wednesday. A woman sat blocking the cameras, and when White refused to get out of his seat, the judge requested him to stand.
Oceanside police have described the incident as road rage. Silva was shot twice in the arm and her son, who was in the passenger seat, was shot in the leg. White maintains that he opened fire because he feared for his life and that of his wife. Silva was driving under the influence that night, and according to Oceanside police investigators, she first cut in front of White's car, then a few seconds later, started tailgating him.
White pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of gross negligent discharge of a firearm. If convicted, White could face up to nine years in prison. "We are confident that when a jury hears all the evidence in the case, Frank's actions will be exonerated," White's attorney Rick Pinckard told the North County Times after the hearing.
Silva pleaded guilty to a series of charges in connection with the case. She could face as much as four years in prison for her convictions for felony child endangerment and misdemeanor driving under the influence. Silva is due back in court on March 5.
"I think this case is going to trial," Deputy District Attorney Julie Korsmeyer told the North County Times. Korsmeyer is prosecuting the case.
White's trial date is set for March 19, 2009.