PENDLETON — Umatilla County Circuit Judge Jon Lieuallen could rule Friday on whether a jury hears derogatory comments John Mattila made about the woman who died in the crash he was in.
The state has accused Mattila, 24, of Weston, of driving drunk the evening of Feb. 22 and killing Adelaida Solis Torres in a car crash on Highway 11 near Weston. She was 52, worked for the Oregon Department of Human Services and was driving a state vehicle at the time.
Mattila has pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter, hit-and-run on an injured person, driving under the influence of intoxicants and more.
Deputy District Attorney Daniel Pachico filed a motion with the court to allow the comments at Mattila’s trial Nov. 4-8. Pachico also wants the jury to see the county jail mug shots showing Matilla grinning after his arrest.
But Defense Attorney Jody Stutsman Vaughan, of Pendleton, filed an argument with the court to prohibit the profanity and photos.
Rather than hearing Mattila called Torres slurs, Vaughan argued, “the state can offer this evidence in a non-inflammatory and non-prejudicial way by stating that the defendant referred to the other driver as a female.”
Likewise, she asserted, the use of the photos showing her client is too prejudicial for the jury to see.
Lieuallen during the hearing at the Umatilla County Courthouse, Pendleton, also will consider a motion from Pachico to allow Mattila to wear non-visible restraints during the trial.