Expert: Delay between deadly shots | NevadaAppeal.com
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Expert: Delay between deadly shots

F.T. Norton, Appeal Staff Writer

An expert testified Friday he believed there was more than three seconds between two shots that killed a Carson City contractor.

Tony Echols, 41, is being tried in Richard Albrecht’s Aug. 5, 2000, shooting death. Echols claims the shooting of Albrecht, whom he believed was having an affair with his estranged wife, was an accident

Rod Englert, an Oregon-based expert prosecutors hired to interpret blood spatter patterns, said the amount of blood that covered Albrecht’s shoes, legs and wrists, and the placement of the first shot — in the left eyebrow — indicated Albrecht would have had to slump forward, bleeding, breath out blood and slump far enough down for another shot to enter the top of his head.

“There is a delay between the shots and the trajectory of the holes indicate there was a delay,” Englert said. “Mr. Albrecht breathed for quite some time before he died.”

“Were the shots instantaneous?” Chief Deputy District Attorney Anne Langer asked. “Were they in rapid succession?”

“No,” Englert replied.

On cross-examination by defense attorney Tod Young, Englert said he wasn’t sure about the three-second time frame.

“But however long it takes to (fall forward) is how long it took,” he said.

Young said Echols may testify in his defense when the trial resumes Monday morning.

The prosecution plans to call one witness Monday, a minister who was with Echols following the shooting.

On Friday, the defense began presenting its witnesses.

Echols’ mother’s boyfriend, Frank Carpenter, said a hysterical Echols called the couple as they vacationed in California and told them he’d shot Albrecht.

“He was sobbing real heavily and he was barely making sense,” Carpenter said. “He just kept saying ‘This was not supposed to happen. Rick is dead. Rick is dead.”

Carpenter said when he suggested Albrecht wasn’t dead, Echols assured him he was.

“I went back to check and make sure he wasn’t alive. He was dead,” Carpenter recalled Echols saying.

Following Carpenter’s testimony, Pat Echols told the jury her son told her he’d knocked on Albrecht’s door to talk to him about staying away from his son.

“He said (Albrecht) asked, ‘What do you want, Tony?’ And Tony said ‘Please don’t be a father to my son. He’s all I have,” she said. Then Echols said, “‘The gun went off. Oh my God, the gun went off again.’ He said he didn’t know what happened,” she said.

During the conversation, Echols repeatedly asked his mother to give him permission to kill himself.

“He said, ‘I only wanted Rick to not be a father to (my son) and now Rick’s children will not have a father,'” she said.

The couple said they called the Carson City Sheriff’s Department and, when deputies checked on Echols, his statements led them to Albrecht’s body.

Margaret Orci was Albrecht’s estranged wife at the time of his death. She told the jury of a fight between Echols and Albrecht after he and Echols’ wife, Karen, were seen having lunch at Lampe Park in Gardnerville. At the time, Orci and Albrecht had been separated for three months, she said.

Eventually, Echols, Orci and a friend ended up at the Echolses home, Orci said.

Echols ran at Albrecht, grabbing him by the throat, Orci said. When Echols tried to kick him, Albrecht grabbed his leg and knocked him to the ground, Orci said.

“Rick was on top of Tony and Rick was punching him in the face,” she said. “Then Rick grabbed Mr. Echols’ head and was pounding it on the concrete. Rick was very mad. As (he) pounded Tony’s head on the concrete he said ‘I’m gonna kill you.’ Rick had the better of Tony.”