MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It was a devastating case of an alleged road rage that made national headlines.
The student on trial, accused of killing another driver, said it was a horrible accident and that he feared for his life.
CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan obtained exclusively a video of the interrogation conducted by detectives shortly after the May 2009 incident.
As police cameras rolled detectives too the handcuffs off manslaughter suspect Evan Potts, leading him through the sequence of deadly events shortly after the road rage confrontation through the streets of Long Beach that left Ian Sharinn crushed under the car’s wheels.
“I cut him off — not intentional or anything. But, you know, I kind of cut him off, and then he was screaming at me to pull over,” Potts said on tape.
Jurors were spellbound as prosecution evidence played out on a screen inside the Nassau County Criminal Courtroom.
Potts, unaware he was under arrest, began doing exercises when detectives left the interrogation room and then described how 6-foot-5 Sharinn twice jumped out of his yellow Porsche kicking Potts’ rented Nissan.
“I was calling 9-1-1, you know, just to tell them there’s this crazy guy, like he’s coming after me, I don’t know what to do,” Potts said. “When he got out of the little car, he looked huge, you know, and I was like totally … I was like totally scared.”
A detective asked Potts: “There’s no doubt in your mind, Evan, that you hit the guy?”
Potts responded, “I know, I know, I know that happened, but I didn’t mean to … I knew I hit him after it happened,” Potts said.
“I didn’t see myself hit him, you know? I couldn’t even tell you if he went on my hood or underneath my car. I just panicked. I tried to get away. I tried to gun it out of there.”
The detective then asked, “Did you know that, this, the man here, has passed away, okay?”
Potts: “I didn’t want to hit him. It wasn’t like I had a conscious thought process, like ‘oh well, I hit him. I can get away.’”
The detectives left Potts alone in the room where he began sobbing uncontrollably, and eventually fell to the floor.
Potts was held for 13 hours, arrested and arraigned the next day in Long Beach.
The trial resumes Tuesday and is expected to last well into June. Nassau prosecutors and the victim’s family said the videotape clearly shows Potts admitting to using his car — without justification — to take the life of a vulnerable man.
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