Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputy Frank Pobjecky testifies.
Lamar Coates sits with his attorney.
Marie's PIzza in Rockford.
ROCKFORD (WREX) -
A Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputy testifies about the life and death decisions he made inside Marie's Pizza two years ago. Deputy Frank Pobjecky says he shot four people inside a Rockford business to save those around him. Lamar Coates is now facing felony murder charges for the death of his alleged accomplice.
Pobjecky took the stand to testify about what happened inside Marie's Pizza on October 1, 2011. He was off-duty at the time waiting for a pizza with the owner. Pobjecky says Coates and a couple other men came in the store armed with a gun. He says at one point the gun was pointed right under his eye as the men demanded money. At one point, the owner Vincenso Tarara made a grab for the suspect's gun. As they fell to the ground fighting for it, Pobjecky says he noticed Tarara has a gun on his hip that he often carries to protect the business. He made a grab for it and shot all four men.
"I knew it would have been life or death for us because if I wouldn't have gained access to his weapon then now I know that was our only hope of survival." says Pobjecky.
Coates is charged with felony murder for the death of his brother Michael Sago. The defense says it is Pobjecky who should be held responsible for Sago's death instead of Coates. Coates has pleaded not guilty. The defense still has to present its case.
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