Opening statements today in Tahoe road rage trial |

Opening statements today in Tahoe road rage trial

Placer County prosecutors and defense attorneys began their opening statements in court today during the murder trial of Timothy Brooks, the Truckee resident charged in the stabbing death of Robert Ash.

So far, only one witness has been called to the stand.

Brooks, 26, is charged with stabbing the 48-year-old Newcastle, Calif., developer outside of Syd’s Bagelry in Tahoe City on the morning of Aug. 17, thirty minutes after Ash reportedly passed

Brooks and his wife on Highway 89 near Squaw Valley. Ash bled to death due to sharp force trauma and was pronounced dead later that night at Washoe Medical Center in Reno.

The jury, which was selected last week, consists of eight men and four women, and three alternates, according to defense attorney Marcus Topel.

Because Brooks is charged with an open count of murder, the jury is not only tasked with making a verdict in the case ” innocent or guilty ” but if guilty, to decide to what degree he is guilty.

This includes first degree or second degree murder or voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. If a guilty verdict is handed down, trial Judge Robert P. McElhany would sentence Brooks based on the degree of which he was found guilty.

The prosecution is expected to call no more than 10 witnesses during the first week of trial, which includes civilian witnesses, a pathologist from Washoe Medical Center and Placer County deputies.

Deputy District Attorney Christopher Cattran said he expects to take four days to present his case and that all of his witnesses will be related to the Aug. 17 incident. He said he didn’t know how fast he would go through all of his witnesses. Under law, the prosecution can not call the defendant or character witnesses to the stand.

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