Prosecutors rest their case vs. indicted sheriff

Witness defends Rodella during trial

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – Federal prosecutors have rest their case against a northern New Mexico sheriff indicted for roughing up a motorist during a heated traffic stop. Prosecutors called their final witnesses Wednesday in a trial involving Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella who authorities say injured a 26-year-old motorist in a March road rage fit.

Rodella is standing trial on federal charges of deprivation of rights and brandishing a firearm. He has pleaded not guilty.

His lawyers says that Rodella did nothing wrong and it was the motorist who was driving recklessly and nearly struck the lawman with his car.

Defense attorneys say they plan on calling in experts to prove Rodella did not hurt the driver as prosecutors claim. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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