By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Rocco plea and sentencing hearing set over

Rusty Rae/News-Register##Amber Rocco flanked by her attorney, Mark Lawrence of McMinnville, in Yamhill County Circuit Court Tuesday morning.
Rusty Rae/News-Register##Amber Rocco flanked by her attorney, Mark Lawrence of McMinnville, in Yamhill County Circuit Court Tuesday morning.

(Updated with print version)

Amber Rocco’s plea and sentencing hearing on her alleged racial intimidation case was postponed for three weeks Tuesday morning.

Defense attorney Mark Lawrence of McMinnville asked for the set-over so a complete set of medical records for his client could be assembled. He told Yamhill County Circuit Court Presiding Judge Cynthia Easterday he felt it was a “reasonable” request. Deputy District Attorney Alisa Ray did not object and Easterday set the proceeding for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23.

While the hearing is currently assigned to Easterday, she indicated there’s a strong possibility another judge will preside.

After Ray called the case, Easterday asked Rocco a standard question regarding whether she has had enough time to discuss with Lawrence the case and recommended sentence. Rocco indicated she wasn’t sure she was ready to proceed. Easterday excused the two to the jury room to further discuss.

After awhile, Lawrence stepped out by himself to confer with Ray. Shortly after he returned to the jury room, he and Rocco emerged.

Lawrence explained Rocco has been able to secure some medical records they believe are important to resolving the case.

“There’s another packet coming and it’s in the mail,” he said. “When I finish the analysis, she will be ready to go.”

Rocco, 40, who currently resides in Willamina, according to court records, has been indicted by a grand jury on two counts each of second-degree intimidation, menacing and unlawful use of a weapon, in addition to three counts of harassment and one count of fourth-degree assault.

The weapon and assault charges are Class C felonies. The other charges are Class A and B misdemeanors.

The recommended sentence is for Rocco to plead guilty to four charges, Easterday said. She will receive jail time and a period of probation. Easterday questioned why the recommended jail time is less than the presumptive sentence for those charges to which Rocco will plead guilty.

Emora Roberson of McMinnville and her boyfriend, Keysuan Goodyear of Vancouver, Washington, were the alleged victims of the Dec. 24, 2018 incident.

According to McMinnville police officer Robert Harmon in a probable cause affidavit, Rocco called the Yamhill Communications Agency 911 center to report she was involved in the incident at Gandalf’s Smoke and Vape Shop, 635 N. Highway 99W.

Roberson later contacted police and showed Harmon a cell phone video recording of the confrontation she had made. It showed a female, later identified as Rocco, standing outside the passenger side front door of a vehicle in which she arrived holding a knife in her right hand.

She was yelling racial slurs — using the “N” word — at Goodyear and Roberson, who were sitting in a vehicle that was also occupied by Roberson’s 15-month-old child and driven by her aunt.

Rocco called her a name, again using a racial slur, and then slammed the open passenger side door on Roberson, who said the door struck her ankle.

The video was posted to a social media site soon after and went viral.

As the investigation progressed, Goodyear and Roberson said they pulled into a parking spot in front of the shop. He said Roberson and her aunt went inside. Goodyear then said a vehicle pulled up alongside them and Rocco got out. He was seated in the passenger side back seat.

Goodyear said Rocco uttered something as she got out of her vehicle. While he didn’t hear exactly what she said, a bystander told him that Rocco criticized the way the vehicle had been parked, and used a racial slur when addressing him. Rocco went into Domino’s Pizza.

He said Roberson and her aunt left the shop about the same time Rocco was returning to her vehicle from Domino’s. Goodyear said he asked Rocco why she said what she did as she got out of her vehicle.

Roberson said she was getting into the passenger side front seat. Goodyear said Rocco gave a male passenger in her vehicle a pizza and continued to yell at him, using a racial slur once again.

He alleges she spit on him through an open rear window. Then, Goodyear said, she slapped him on the left side of his face.

Roberson and Goodyear both said Rocco displayed a knife, holding it in her right hand near her face. The blade was facing Goodyear.

He said she told him, “I’ll stab you. I’ll kill you.”

That’s when Roberson used her phone to start recording the incident. She and Goodyear said Rocco dropped the knife to her side, but was still pointing the blade toward them. They said they were scared, and Roberson’s daughter was also frightened.

Rocco slammed her door shut, causing it to hit Roberson’s ankle, which was outside the car. Rocco then got in her vehicle and closed the door.

The only thing Rocco told police is that she was defending herself from Goodyear and is not a racist.

Rocco told reporters following a court proceeding that the case was unfair and was being blown out of proportion.

Comments

myopinion

"Rocco has been able to secure some medical records she and Lawrence believe are important to resolving the case"
She's going to claim a medical reason for her actions? This should be interesting.

TTT

It seems she bought her best smile for court.

Lulu

Do people ever dress up for anything?

A New Generation

Lulu: Perfume on a pig is still a pig.
'Nuff said.