By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Racial intimidation defendant goes to jail

Marcus Larson/News-Register##Amber Rocco, accompanied by McMinnville attorney Mark Lawrence, at her plea and sentencing hearing Tuesday afternoon in Yamhill County Circuit Court.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Amber Rocco, accompanied by McMinnville attorney Mark Lawrence, at her plea and sentencing hearing Tuesday afternoon in Yamhill County Circuit Court.

Keysaun Goodyear and Emora Roberson, victims in the Amber Rocco racial intimidation case, were not in Yamhill County Circuit Court for the defendant’s plea and sentencing hearing Tuesday afternoon.

Deputy District Attorney Alisa Ray delivered messages on their behalf to Judge Jennifer Chapman. Goodyear said he felt Rocco deserved a six-month jail sentence. He and Roberson both said she should engage in anger management treatment.

The 40-year-old Rocco, a Willamina resident, pleaded guilty to one count each of second-degree intimidation and unlawful use of a weapon, in addition to two counts of harassment.

The weapon charge is a Class C felony, intimidation a Class A misdemeanor and harassment a Class B misdemeanor.

Chapman sentenced Rocco to 30 days in jail, and gave her until 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 24 to report. She will be placed on 36 months of formal probation upon her release from custody and must also perform 80 hours of community service.

Two counts of menacing and one count each of second-degree intimidation, fourth-degree assault, harassment and unlawful use of a weapon were dismissed as part of plea negotiations between the district attorney’s offense and defense attorney Mark Lawrence of McMinnville.

Goodyear said he was satisfied with the jail sentence providing Rocco avail herself of anger management treatment, which was part of the plea agreement.

Roberson stressed the importance of such treatment, according to Ray. She also doesn’t approve of Rocco having access to weapons.

It was Rocco who first called the Yamhill Communications Agency 911 center on Dec. 24 to report she was involved in an incident at Gandalf’s Smoke and Vape Shop, 635 N. Highway 99W, according to a probable cause affidavit prepared by officer Robert Harmon.

Goodyear and Roberson, who are boyfriend/girlfriend, were Christmas shopping, and accompanied by her daughter and aunt. Rocco was with an adult male who was not charged.

Roberson later contacted police and showed Harmon cell phone video she shot of the confrontation. 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 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 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 and it went viral soon after.

As the investigation progressed, Goodyear and Roberson said they pulled into a parking spot in front of Gandalf’s. 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.

While in the pizza shop, Ray said Rocco displayed an aggressive attitude and was upset over her order.

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

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

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

Goodyear and Roberson 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 the 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.

“No threats were made on the recording,” Lawrence said. “Her (Rocco) husband tossed her the knife while the two were engaged in a verbal argument. No gesture was made with the knife. She announced that the purpose of the knife was for self-defense.”

Despite Lawrence’s view of what happened, Ray said his client was clearly the aggressor.

“I’m sorry,” Rocco told the court. “I have apologized. I am sorry ... I am.”



A good portion of my family are mixed as am I so I'm not defending Rocco but Yamhill County judges are soft on major crimes. They are hard on this woman mostly for her harsh use of words. Rallying against racism is so trendy today that it surpasses child endangerment, sex abuse and domestic violence. A political verdict is just another part of the problem...


Well, it appears Goodyear and Roberson will be standing in the same courtroom as Rocco for their Walmart scams. How ironic.


Lulu, isn't it though?


Who would have thought that both groups who met while Christmas shopping at the local smoke shop could be involved in criminal activity? Agree with Action, people get slapped on wrist for running around stealing, domestic assuault and using meth but a verbal disagreement = locking someone up for a month and supervising with tax resources for 3 years?


We have no justice system in Yamhill County.

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