Rivas

Ernesto Rivas arrives for December 2016 appearance in Skagit County District Court.

MOUNT VERNON — The trial of a man accused of shooting a Mount Vernon police officer has been delayed by several weeks.

Because of new potential evidence for the trial of 46-year-old Ernesto Lee Rivas, prosecutors and Rivas’ lawyers agreed Tuesday to a continuance of possibly two to three months, said public defender Tammy Candler.

“It’s going to change things,” Candler said of the new potential evidence, which is video footage obtained from Rivas’ home security system.

Rivas faces charges related to a Dec. 15, 2016 standoff with law enforcement that left officer Michael “Mick” McClaughry blind after being shot in the head.

After a dozen delays, Rivas’ trial was to begin Wednesday with jury selection.

Hours before he agreed to postpone the trial, Skagit County Superior Court Judge Brian Stiles granted a motion by Rivas’ defense team to have four counts of unlawful possession of a firearm tried separately, according to court documents.

For the trial that was postponed, Rivas will face two counts of attempted murder — one for the alleged shooting of McClaughry and one for the shooting McClaughry and other law enforcement officers had gone to Rivas’ house to investigate — and four counts of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon.

According to court records, the new potential evidence was disclosed by law enforcement to prosecutors and Rivas’ defense team about 4 p.m., about an hour after the hearing on the charges had ended.

A new trial date for Rivas is scheduled to be decided June 6.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141, kwanielista@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kera_SVH, facebook.com/KeraReports

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