An Oceanside woman shot by an off-duty police officer during a 2008 road-rage clash will not be compelled to testify against him, a judge ruled Monday, according to a published report.
Rachel Silva appeared in court during a break in jury selection Tuesday.
As San Diego police Officer Frank White watched from the defense table, Silva told Superior Court Judge Harry Elias that she will invoke her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if called to testify against the man who shot her in a Lowe's parking lot in Oceanside.
"She has that constitutional right," Elias said.
Silva's decision did not come as a surprise, according to the North County Times reporter Teri Figueroa who has been covering the case.
She is said to have been drunk when she chased and harassed White, who was off-duty, out of uniform and in his personal car at the time.
White is accused of negligently firing his weapon ---- a felony ---- in the confrontation with Silva, who pursued White for a perceived slight while driving on Old Grove Road.
He faces up to nine years in prison if convicted.
Although Silva pleaded guilty to felony child endangerment and one count of misdemeanor drunken driving, she has not yet been sentenced.
The law protects her from being forced to give self-incriminating testimony until the end of the appeals process.
Silva faces up to four years in prison when she is sentenced on July 23.
Opening statements are now set to start Wednesday, and testimony in the trial could run for about two weeks.