AUBURN — A jury listened Monday to a recording of an Auburn man spewing racial epithets while cooling his heels in the back seat of a police cruiser.

Prosecutors are hoping the jury will conclude Adam Getchell’s racially charged rant is evidence of a hate crime.

The defense is seeking to show that the diatribe engaged in by the 32-year-old was simply a private soliloquy muttered in the heat of the moment and that he never shouted slurs directly at the alleged victim of what appeared to be a case of extreme road rage.

The Androscoggin County Superior Court jury of nine women and five men, all white, watched a cruiser’s-view video of Getchell moving through the parking lot of George’s Pizza, brandishing a wooden billy club before he was ordered to “put it down.”

Local police Officer Brian Parker testified on the first day of Getchell’s trial that he witnessed Getchell chasing the red Audi sedan driven by then-19-year-old Matthew Wooten Jr. through the pizzeria’s parking lot.

Parker arrested Getchell on a charge of criminal threatening.


Getchell told police he was the victim of a road rage incident that started in Lewiston and continued across the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge into Auburn. He said Wooten was the aggressor who threw a bottle into the cab of Getchell’s green Chevrolet pickup truck. He said he was defending himself after Wooten told him he was going to “beat my a**.”

But prosecutors called to the witness stand Deputy District Attorney James Andrews, who happened to be driving his pickup truck directly behind Wooten’s car on the evening of July 11, 2013.

Andrews described how he watched a green pickup truck cut in front of Wooten’s Audi in the left turning lane on East Avenue in Lewiston, shortly before the intersection with Russell Street.

He said the truck sped up, then stopped abruptly about a half-dozen times along Russell Street. At one point, the truck appeared to be backing up in the direction of the Audi, Andrews said.

The truck would straddle the two lanes in an apparent effort to prevent the Audi from passing, he said.

Andrews said he could see the driver of the truck gesturing with his hands after slamming on his brakes, but never saw the Audi’s operator use hand gestures.


Once on the bridge, Andrews said both vehicles took off at a high rate of speed when the red car attempted to pass the truck. As the car passed in the right lane, the truck veered in the direction of the car and the car appeared to lose control, its rear wheels skidding, Andrews said.

Andrews asked his son, who was a passenger, to write down the truck’s license plate number. Andrews called 911 and reported the “very dangerous situation” he had witnessed.

He told the prosecutor that Getchell was “not driving in a rational manner.”

Andrews identified himself on the call as an assistant district attorney based in Farmington at that time.

The jury also listened to Wooten’s 911 call, in which he reported that Getchell’s truck had struck his car when Getchell swerved into Wooten’s lane, causing him to hit his head.

Wooten said he stayed on his cellphone with the dispatcher, who urged him not to follow Getchell’s truck. When Wooten did follow Getchell into the parking lot of George’s Pizza on Center Street, the dispatcher told Wooten to stay in his car and to roll up his windows. Wooten said he did.


On the tape, Wooten told the dispatcher that he was in front of the Auburn Mall, nearing the pizzeria’s parking lot and then he could be heard saying, “I’m a f*** you up, n***a,” referring to Getchell.

He could be heard on the tape telling the dispatcher that Getchell is “getting out of his truck with a f***in’ stick.”

Wooten told prosecutors Monday that Getchell pointed the stick at him, shouting, “Come and fight me, n***er.”

Under cross examination, Wooten told defense attorney Matthew Libby that his use of the word, “n***a,” does not have the derogatory connotations of the word, “n***er,” especially when it’s being used by a person of mixed race, like Wooten, whose mother is white and father is black.

Wooten also told Libby that he never told police officers who responded to the scene, nor did he write in his statement for police, that Getchell had called him “n***er.”

But Getchell’s tirade, laced with racial epithets that were captured on tape, suggested that he viewed Wooten with racial bias.


In a pretrial motion, Libby had sought to have that portion of the cruiser’s recording thrown out because it would prejudice the jury against his client, but a judge ultimately allowed the recording to be played at trial.

In that recording, Getchell can be heard referring to Wooten nearly a dozen times by use of a racial epithet that describes blacks as having inferior intelligence.

Getchell referred to himself as a “white boy” and claimed the police favored blacks, whom he referred to as “black tar” and “charcoal-looking.”

He said it was stupid “when Somalians and . . . n***ers they get better . . . respect than us white people do.”

He told officer Parker to lock his truck and, “If anything gets stolen out of my truck, that’s worth more than that f***ing car and that n***er’s life that’s driving it.”

Officer Parker testified Monday that he could hear Getchell say, apparently to Wooten as he left the parking lot, “I’m going to kill you.”


An Androscoggin County grand jury charged Getchell with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and aggravated criminal mischief. Each count is a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. A misdemeanor charge of intentional interference with civil rights is punishable by up to 364 days in jail. The maximum sentence for a charge of driving to endanger is six months in jail.

Libby had sought — unsuccessfully — to separate the racial bias charge from the charges related to the road rage incident.

Before the jury was picked, prospective jurors filled out a questionnaire, quizzing them on their attitudes about race.

Prosecutors sought a civil injunction against Getchell to prevent him from having any contact with the teen.

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