Man accused of killing Everett police officer requests competency assessment in not guilty plea

Apr 25, 2022, 12:06 PM
Richard Rotter (KIRO 7 TV)...
Richard Rotter (KIRO 7 TV)

In an abrupt course correction, the man accused of killing Everett police officer Dan Rocha has pleaded not guilty to aggravated first-degree murder, citing the need for a competency assessment.

Last week, Richard Rotter, 50, indicated that he would plead guilty to the murder charge, in addition to unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance, in Snohomish County Superior Court.

Caught on police body camera footage, Rotter allegedly shot Rocha five times at close range and ran the officer over before speeding away in a vehicle. Rotter was then arrested upon crashing his car in north Everett.

Between two vehicles used that day, Rotter was allegedly found in possession of a rifle, ammunition, and 1,950 pills that appeared to police as fentanyl, along with heroin and methamphetamine.

Rotter has an extensive criminal history, including 51 priors, 18 of which are felonies.

According to court records, friends and family told investigators that Rotter was a main supplier of drugs in the Tri-Cities, and that he “would not be taken alive” were he caught by police.

Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis originally set a trial date for May 27 before the request for a competency assessment.


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Man accused of killing Everett police officer requests competency assessment in not guilty plea