First Witnesses Called in Santoro Trial
The negligent homicide trial for Geoffrey Santoro of Kevin continued in Toole County District court this morning with the first witnesses in the case being called to testify.
One of the witnesses on the stand was Ricky Potter, who had been with Santoro in the Vet's Club in Sunburst and was in the pickup with Santoro when he allegedly ran over Levi Rowell and injured Tiffany Rowell. Potter testified that he and Santoro left the bar because they had to do some work that night, but later agreed that his statements had changed three time in pre-trial interviews and he later admitted that Santoro may have been upset. He also testified that when the two came out of the bar, they got into the pickup and that Santoro had grabbed a shotgun from the backseat and that potter had said to Santoro, "You don't' need to do this".
Potter also testified that Santoro had broken a bottle on the ground. Court records indicated earlier that Rowell believed Santoro had broken the bottle on his pickup, causing damage.
Potter also indicated that they were surprised to see Rowell come out of the bar and reach into the pickup and, in Potter's words, "Grabbed Santoro's neck." Potter testified that while Santoro was trying to get Rowell off him, he accelerated quickly putting the truck into reverse and then into forward. Potter said Santoro acknowledged that he "may have hit someone and later, may have killed him."
Levi Rowell was pronounced dead at the scene of the bar parking lot that night.
The trial is expected to continue through Friday.