Airman's wife astonished by verdict, insulted by trial

The wife of the airman who was shot by a sheriff's deputy at the end of a high-speed car chase said Monday she is shocked a jury acquitted the deputy of criminal charges last week.

Mariela Carrion said she fully believed Ivory J. Webb Jr. would be convicted of at least one of the two counts he faced for the videotaped shooting of her husband, Air Force Senior Airman Elio Carrion.

"He was asked to get up twice. He got up, and he got shot," she said, describing what happened to her husband. "They should have convicted (Webb) because of that."

Webb shot Elio Carrion on Jan. 29, 2006, at the end of a car chase in Chino. Carrion, a veteran of the Iraq war, was a passenger in the car.

A videotape of the shooting made by a bystander shows Webb shoot Carrion as Carrion appears to follow the deputy's orders to stand up.

Largely because of that video, San Bernardino County prosecutors charged Webb with attempted voluntary manslaughter and assault with a firearm. Jurors, however, acquitted the former deputy Thursday after deliberating for less than four hours at the end of his trial.

During a telephone interview Monday from her home near Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, where Elio
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Carrion is stationed, Mariela Carrion said her husband still hasn't come to grips with the verdict.

He hasn't discussed it with anyone, not even her, she said.

"It must have hurt him really bad," she said. "He just stays quiet."

Mariela Carrion said she monitored news reports of the trial on the Internet.

She was insulted, she said, when Webb's lawyers argued that her husband instigated the shooting by being drunk and not following the deputy's orders to remain quiet and keep his hands on the ground.

"All of that was very hurtful," she said. "If you only knew the type of person Elio is. He would never do such a thing."

Especially offensive were the defense suggestions that her husband looked like a gang member based on the fact that he is Latino, has short hair and wore a black jacket with an Oakland Raiders logo on it, she said.

"People made it sound like Elio was the criminal," she said. "It was the other way around."

Her husband was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, she said.

Elio Carrion was shot in the leg, chest and shoulder.

He has since returned to duty with the Air Force, although his injuries have not allowed him to resume his former activities as a military policeman.

He is suing Webb and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department seeking monetary damages and changes in department policy.

Mariela Carrion said she hopes prosecutors also will bring federal civil-rights charges against Webb.

Webb no longer works for the Sheriff's Department.

Staff writer Rod Leveque can be reached by e-mail at r_leveque@dailybulletin.com, or by phone at (909) 483-9325.

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