Ian Sharinn Class of 1992*


Long Beach road rage trial begins

Attorneys portray differing accounts of 2009 death

Posted May 11, 2011Anthony Rifalato

For Long Beach resident Ian Sharinn, May 15, 2009, was supposed to be a typical day — a sunny Friday morning, 78 degrees — a day the 34-year-old engineer had planned to close on a new home he was buying with his fiancée.

“What you will learn throughout the course of this trial is that May 15 was not just another day,” Prosecutor Everett Witherell told the jury. “It was the day that Ian Sharinn was killed.”

So began the opening statements in front of Judge Philip Grella in Nassau County Court on Monday, the first day of the manslaughter trial of Oceanside resident Evan Potts, 24, who faces a maximum of 15 years in prison for running over and killing Sharinn in an incident of road rage following a high-speed car chase through Long Beach. Potts pleaded not guilty nearly a year ago to charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

Among the first witnesses to testify were Sharinn’s brother, Marc, former Long Beach Fire Chief Scott Kemins, who responded to the scene as an advanced medical technician, and Detective Lt. James Canner of the Police Department.

Canner, a 21-year member of the department, testified that as he neared the scene, he heard a woman’s horrific cries. “She was screaming ‘He killed him! He killed him!’ and that drew my attention,” Canner said of the chaotic scene. “I had never heard screams like that before.”

Canner said that he saw two men chase Potts and then pull him from his vehicle when he stopped on the southbound side of National Boulevard shortly after he ran over Sharinn.

Asked about Potts’s demeanor, Canner described him as “very excited.” “He said, ‘I tried to call 911 and I didn’t know what do, I didn’t know what to do,’” Canner recounted. “When I got back to the intersection, I saw the victim laying in the street … there was a lot of blood.”

Members of Sharinn’s family sat with their faces in their hands during some of the more detailed testimony, while Potts sat hunched over in

his chair.