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Defense Attorneys Claim LI Road Rage Victim Had Drugs In His System

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Long Island road rage trial

This is the Nissan Altima allegedly driven by Evan Potts. (Photo: CBS 2)

jennifermclogan Jennifer McLogan
Jennifer McLogan returned to WCBS-TV in 1993 to cover Long Island...
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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — There were fireworks in a Long Island courtroom Wednesday, as attorneys for the suspect in an explosive road rage trial claimed the victim had drugs in his system.

Nassau’s deputy medical examiner rushed out of the courtroom following his testimony. Autopsy photographs and findings seemed so difficult for the family of victim Ian Sharinn to endure that his parents and brother stayed away.

Attorneys for suspect Evan Potts characterized the new evidence as “explosive.”

“The bombshell here is that a member of homicide asked the medical examiner to test for steroids,” defense attorney Stanley Kopilow said.

The road rage confrontation happened in May 2009 in Long Beach.

The medical examiner admitted Wednesday that an independent lab checked Sharrin for anabolic steroids and elevated levels of testosterone. Standard toxicology revealed that Sharinn had trace amounts of cannibis, as well as lamotrigine and citalopram.

The chief toxicologist called those nothing more than standard anti-anxiety medications, with doses considered “therapeutic.” The defense, though, had other claims.

“It would certainly explain the rage that Ian Sharinn was exhibiting that day, and how over-the-top that rage was,” Kopilow said.

Potts accidentally cut off Sharinn at a Long Beach intersection. Following a two-mile verbal argument – shouting at one another as they drove side by side – Sharinn exited his yellow Porsche twice and confronted Potts, kicking his rented Nissan Altima.

Potts called 9-1-1 as Sharinn grabbed the Altima door frame. Potts accelerated, and Sharinn fell beneath the tires and was crushed.

The jury was riveted by police interrogation video, as cameras captured Potts telling detectives that it was an accident.

“There’s this crazy guy, he’s coming at me, I don’t know what to do,” Potts said. “He got out of the little car, he was huge, you know, and I was totally scared.”

Prosecutors said the defense was waging a smear campaign against an innocent man who’s no longer alive to defend himself.

The prosecution was expected to rest Thursday. It is unknown if the defense will call suspect Evan Potts to the stand.

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