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    Attorneys over need for medical witness for hours during trial in death of Manny Ellis

    For more than two hours on Tuesday, attorneys on both sides of the aisle argued over witness testimony, but without any jurors in the courtroom.

    The defense says they are concerned that this trial is way behind schedule due to the prosecutions’ witness list. What was supposed to be a two-month-long trial may now extend into early next year. 

    Doctor Curtis Veal is a pulmonary expert. His testimony focused on Ellis’ ability to breathe during the March 2020 encounter.

    Tacoma Police Officers Matthew Collins and Christopher Burbank are charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

    “The evidence for difficulty breathing was compromised of his stating that he was unable to breathe, beginning before Officer Rankine arrived but continuing after,” said Veal.

    “In Mr. Ellis’ case, he had performed some pretty vigorous physical activity. He had methamphetamine in his system, as we know, which is a stimulant increasing your heart rate, your blood pressure, your metabolic rate, and he also had Taser application—and those things altogether would be predicted to increase his oxygen demands,” said Veal.


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