FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A jury has begun deliberating in the trial of a fired Broward Sheriff's Office deputy accused of yelling racial slurs at a driver and taking a cellphone from her passenger who was recording a traffic stop.
Paul Pletcher faces four criminal charges, including burglary, battery, criminal mischief and petty theft stemming from the May 23, 2011, incident. If convicted on all counts, he faces 11 years in prison.
The alleged victim, Neyda Osorio, took the stand in his retrial last week, breaking down on the stand when Pletcher's attorney attacked her character.
Defense attorney Al Millian questioned whether Osorio was telling the truth, pointing out she may be hoping her testimony against Pletcher can help her in an unrelated case where she faces felony charges, including battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.
"Since Mr. Pletcher crossed my life everything has gone wrong," said Osorio. "They've accused me of prostitution. They've accused me of drug sales. I have gone to jail. They have beaten me. They have accused me of everything."
According to Osorio, she had pulled out of a shopping center on the northwest corner of Broward Boulevard and U.S. 441, got into the left turn lane and made a U-turn to go east. She said Pletcher, who wasn't on duty at the time, pulled up alongside them, began yelling racial slurs and flipped them off. After he pulled Osorio over, she said she anticipated there may be trouble, so she asked her friend to use her cellphone to record the incident.
When Pletcher realized he was being recorded, he demanded the phone and then took it by force when she refused to hand it over. In the video, Pletcher can be heard yelling, "Give me the phone now." Osorio said Pletcher then threw the phone on the ground, smashing it.
Pletcher was a seven-year veteran once assigned to the sheriff's Pompano district. He was fired by BSO a year after the alleged incident.
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