Coroner's inquest into Pasco shooting will take longer than expected

PASCO, Wash. (AP) — A coroner's inquest into the fatal shooting of a Mexican man by three Pasco police officers will take twice as long and cost twice as much as originally planned.

That's what Franklin County coroner Dan Blasdel told the county commissioners this week.

The Tri-City Herald reports that Blasdel told commissioners the inquest will take two weeks instead of one, with costs of about $1,000 a day.

Blasdel says he hopes the inquest can start by May 1.

The shooting of 35-year-old Antonio Zambrano-Montes has sparked weeks of peaceful protests in Pasco. The unarmed orchard worker was shot Feb. 10 at a busy downtown intersection.

The inquest allows a jury of six civilians to decide the cause and manner of death and whether the shooting was justified.